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adverb wid·der·shins \ˈwi-dər-shənz\

Definition of widdershins

  1. :  in a left-handed, wrong, or contrary direction :  counterclockwise — compare deasil

Did You Know?

Legend holds that demons always approached the devil widdershins. Not surprisingly, such a path was considered evil and unlucky. By the mid-1500s, English speakers had adopted "widdershins," (from the Old High German widar, meaning "back" or "against," and sinnen, meaning "to travel") for anything following a path opposite to the direction the sun travels across the sky (that is, counterclockwise). But in its earliest known uses "widdershins" was far less malignant; it was used simply to describe a case of bad hair in which unruly locks stood on end or fell the wrong way.

Variants of widdershins



play \ˈwi-thər-shənz\

Origin and Etymology of widdershins

Middle Low German weddersinnes, from Middle High German widersinnes, from widersinnen to go against, from wider back against (from Old High German widar) + sinnen to travel, go; akin to Old High German sendan to send — more at with, send

First Known Use: 1545

Seen and Heard

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at a gallop

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