Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1.) "Paper reeds" (Isaiah 19:7; R.V., "reeds"). Hebrews `aroth, properly green herbage growing in marshy places.
The reed of Egypt and Palestine is the Arundo donax, which grows to the height of 12 feet, its stalk jointed like the bamboo, "with a magnificent panicle of blossom at the top, and so slender and yielding that it will lie perfectly flat under a gust of wind, and immediately resume its upright position." It is used to illustrate weakness (2 Kings 18:21; Ezek. 29:6), also fickleness or instability (Matthew 11:7; Comp. Ephesians 4:14).
A "bruised reed" (Isaiah 42:3; Matthew 12:20) is an emblem of a believer weak in grace. A reed was put into our Lord's hands in derision (Matthew 27:29); and "they took the reed and smote him on the head" (30). The "reed" on which they put the sponge filled with vinegar (Matthew 27:48) was, according to John (19:29), a hyssop stalk, which must have been of some length, or perhaps a bunch of hyssop twigs fastened to a rod with the sponge. (see CANE.)
Noah Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language
1. (a.) Red.
2. (v. & n.) Same as Rede.
3. (n.) The fourth stomach of a ruminant; rennet.
4. (n.) A name given to many tall and coarse grasses or grasslike plants, and their slender, often jointed, stems, such as the various kinds of bamboo, and especially the common reed of Europe and North America (Phragmites communis).
5. (n.) A musical instrument made of the hollow joint of some plant; a rustic or pastoral pipe.
6. (n.) An arrow, as made of a reed.
7. (n.) Straw prepared for thatching a roof.
8. (n.) A small piece of cane or wood attached to the mouthpiece of certain instruments, and set in vibration by the breath. In the clarinet it is a single fiat reed; in the oboe and bassoon it is double, forming a compressed tube.
9. (n.) One of the thin pieces of metal, the vibration of which produce the tones of a melodeon, accordeon, harmonium, or seraphine; also attached to certain sets or registers of pipes in an organ.
10. (n.) A frame having parallel flat stripe of metal or reed, between which the warp threads pass, set in the swinging lathe or batten of a loom for beating up the weft; a sley. See Batten.
11. (n.) A tube containing the train of powder for igniting the charge in blasting.
12. (n.) Same as Reeding.