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reed (n.)

"tall, broad-leafed grass growing on the margins of streams or in other wet places," Middle English rēd, rede, from Old English hreod "reed, rush," from Proto-Germanic *kreut- "reed" (source also of Old Saxon hraid, Old Frisian hriad, Middle Dutch ried, Dutch riet, Old High German hriot, German Ried), with no known cognates beyond Germanic.

Meaning "musical pipe made from a reed stem" is from late 14c. (reed-pipe is from c. 1300). As part of the mouthpiece of a musical instrument it is attested from 1520s. Meaning "a reed instrument" is from 1838. Figuratively, as a type of frailty, etc., from early 13c.

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Definitions of reed from WordNet
1
reed (n.)
tall woody perennial grasses with hollow slender stems especially of the genera Arundo and Phragmites;
reed (n.)
a vibrator consisting of a thin strip of stiff material that vibrates to produce a tone when air streams over it;
the clarinetist fitted a new reed onto his mouthpiece
Synonyms: vibrating reed
reed (n.)
a musical instrument that sounds by means of a vibrating reed;
Synonyms: beating-reed instrument / reed instrument
2
Reed (n.)
United States journalist who reported on the October Revolution from Petrograd in 1917; founded the Communist Labor Party in America in 1919; is buried in the Kremlin in Moscow (1887-1920);
Synonyms: John Reed
Reed (n.)
United States physician who proved that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes (1851-1902);
Synonyms: Walter Reed
From wordnet.princeton.edu