Old English wegan (class V strong verb, past tense wæg, past participle wægon) "find the weight of, measure; have weight; lift, carry, support, sustain, bear; move," from Proto-Germanic *wegan (source also of Old Saxon wegan, Old Frisian wega, Dutch wegen "to weigh;" Old Norse vega, Old High German wegan "to move, carry, weigh;" German wiegen "to weigh," bewegen "to move, stir"), from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move, transport in a vehicle."
The original sense was of motion, which led to that of lifting, then to that of "measure the weight of." The older sense of "lift, carry" survives in the nautical phrase weigh anchor. Figurative sense of "to consider, ponder" (in reference to words, etc.) is recorded from mid-14c. To weigh in in the literal sense is from 1868, originally of jockeys; figurative meaning "bring one's influence to bear" is from 1909.
updated on April 20, 2017