late Old English, present-participle adjective from weep (v.). Used of various trees whose branches arch downward and suggest drooping, such as weeping elm (c. 1600); weeping cherry (1824). Weeping willow (French saule pleureur, German trauerweide) is recorded from 1731. The tree is native to Asia; the first brought to England were imported 1748, from the Euphrates. It replaced the cypress as a funerary emblem.