The name "Weald" is derived from the Old English weald, meaning "forest" (cognate of German Wald, but unrelated to English "wood", which has a different origin). This comes from a Germanic root of the same meaning, and ultimately from Indo-European. Weald is specifically a West Saxon form; wold is the Anglian form of the word. The Middle English form of the word is wēld, and the modern spelling is a reintroduction of the Anglo-Saxon form attributed to its use by William Lambarde in his A Perambulation of Kent of 1576.
In the Anglo-Saxon period, the area had the name Andredes weald, meaning "the forest of Andred", the latter derived from Anderida, the Roman name of present-day Pevensey. The area is also referred to in Anglo-Saxon texts as Andredesleage, where the second element, leage, is another Old English word for "woodland", represented by the modern leigh.
The adjective for "Weald" is "wealden".