Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

withy

play
noun \ˈwi-thē\

Definition of withy

plural withies

  1. 1 :  willow; especially :  osier 1

  2. 2 :  a flexible slender twig or branch (as of osier) :  withe



Did You Know?

Withy is a word with several synonyms. In its broadest use, it is simply another word for "willow," but it can also be used for a particular category of willows which are also known by the name "osier." Additionally, the word withe can be substituted for the "flexible slender twig or branch" sense of "withy." "Osier" entered English from Anglo-French in the 14th century, whereas "willow," "withy," and "withe" all have their origins in Old English. "Willow" comes from the Old English "welig," a word that can be found in writing going back to the middle of the 8th century, and "withy" and "withe" come from "wīthig," a word that is known to have been used at least as far back as the 10th century.

Origin of withy

Middle English, from Old English wīthig; akin to Old High German wīda willow, Latin vitis vine, viēre to plait — more at wire


First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with withy


2

withy

play
adjective \ˈwi-thē, ˈwi-thē, ˈwī-thē\

Definition of withy

  1. :  flexibly tough



Origin of withy

withe


First Known Use: 1598

Rhymes with withy


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up withy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a smart aleck

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

oily prompt angry maudlin
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ