\ ˈlīt͟h How to pronounce lithe (audio) , ˈlīth How to pronounce lithe (audio) \

Definition of lithe

1 : easily bent or flexed lithe steel a lithe vine
2 : characterized by easy flexibility and grace a lithe dancer treading with a lithe silent step also : athletically slim the most lithe and graspable of waists — R. P. Warren

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Other Words from lithe

lithely adverb
litheness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for lithe


bendy [chiefly British], flexible, limber, lissome (also lissom), lithesome, pliable, pliant, supple, willowy


inflexible, rigid, stiff, stiffened

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Examples of lithe in a Sentence

the lithe body of a dancer the lithe blade of a fencing foil

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s Dominic Pecikonis, who has the hair and smile and lithe body and speed-rap skills of Daveed Diggs — a real charmer. Christopher Arnott,, "Energetic ‘Spamilton’ takes hilarious pot shots at ‘Hamilton’ at Playhouse on Park," 16 Aug. 2019 Ramona wraps a lithe leg high up on the pole, one arm flaring out like a swan’s wing. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Hustlers Proves Jennifer Lopez Has Been This Great All Along," 12 Sep. 2019 McCarthy, who is a lithe sixty-year-old, with long, graceful limbs, grew up in Cork, Ireland, but has lived in London for thirty years. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, "Cycling for Climate Justice," 10 Sep. 2019 Putting one on the sleek, black rectangle of your iPhone thus concocts a syrupy mélange of lithe modernism and ascetic medievalism. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "I Tried to Limit My Screen Time," 5 Sep. 2019 The interplay between Nick’s lithe vocal and Joe’s angular yelp adds a hint of tension to the more upbeat songs and ardor to the slower ones, a contrast that was audible even with the screaming along of the fans in the Garden’s packed rafters. Maura Johnston,, "At TD Garden, Jonas Brothers play to their strengths," 18 Aug. 2019 Sort of thoughtful, quiet, shy not one of these bitter and lithe. Abigail Brone,, "Local doctor’s book about ‘good Nazi’ made into documentary film," 5 July 2019 From childhood, Mulyanza Huguette was strong and lithe and loved to run long distances near her home in Butembo, in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Rachel Jones, National Geographic, "Life amid an Ebola outbreak: Combating mistrust—and saving lives," 23 May 2019 His boys are coy, knowing, and lithe; the male odalisque, in a state of opulent undress, is a favorite leitmotif. Christopher Alessandrini, The New York Review of Books, "‘Boys Do It Better’: The Paintings of Louis Fratino," 18 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lithe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lithe

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lithe

Middle English, from Old English līthe gentle; akin to Old High German lindi gentle, Latin lentus slow

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Statistics for lithe

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lithe

The first known use of lithe was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for lithe



English Language Learners Definition of lithe

: moving in an easy and graceful way


\ ˈlīt͟h How to pronounce lithe (audio) , ˈlīth\

Kids Definition of lithe

: limber entry 1, supple But his motions remained lithe and natural, as he moved easily among trees and shade.— Virginia Hamilton, M. C. Higgins

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More from Merriam-Webster on lithe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lithe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lithe

Spanish Central: Translation of lithe

Nglish: Translation of lithe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lithe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lithe

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a bell tower

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