will·​ing | \ ˈwi-liŋ How to pronounce willing (audio) \

Definition of willing

1 : inclined or favorably disposed in mind : ready willing and eager to help
2 : prompt to act or respond lending a willing hand
3 : done, borne, or accepted by choice or without reluctance a willing sacrifice
4 : of or relating to the will or power of choosing : volitional

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Other Words from willing

willingly \ ˈwi-​liŋ-​lē How to pronounce willingly (audio) \ adverb
willingness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for willing

voluntary, intentional, deliberate, willing mean done or brought about of one's own will. voluntary implies freedom and spontaneity of choice or action without external compulsion. a voluntary confession intentional stresses an awareness of an end to be achieved. the intentional concealment of vital information deliberate implies full consciousness of the nature of one's act and its consequences. deliberate acts of sabotage willing implies a readiness and eagerness to accede to or anticipate the wishes of another. willing obedience

Examples of willing in a Sentence

He was a willing participant in the crime. She's lending a willing hand.
Recent Examples on the Web Now, physicians are increasingly willing to do these things. Winston Ross, Longreads, "What Shattered My Mother’s Mind," 8 Dec. 2019 But no other congressman seemed willing, say, to engage in a testy exchange with General Ray Odierno over how to equip downrange soldiers. Matt Farwell, The New Republic, "Duncan Hunter Did Something Right," 6 Dec. 2019 How can someone determine if a prospective employer will be willing and able to help their career development? Kathleen Furore, chicagotribune.com, "How to figure out your professional future before you even get the job," 4 Dec. 2019 This news caught the attention of many outside China for just how far the country is willing to go in encroaching on people’s privacy—now, even your trash can is tracking you. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "China Once Welcomed the World’s Trash. Now It’s Using A.I. and Facial Recognition to Handle Mountains of Its Own," 29 Nov. 2019 An example of what’s called a non-probability approach or convenience sampling, the Internet survey panels include only people who are online and willing to click on survey ads (or who really love coupons). Marcus Woo, Ars Technica, "Election polls aren’t broken, but they still can’t predict the future," 29 Nov. 2019 Even elementary school students can learn from current events, if adults are willing to take the time to engage them. Paula Mcavoy, The Conversation, "Students should learn about impeachment in school – here’s how to make it work," 27 Nov. 2019 But adult shoppers may not be so willing to accept the invitation, with a recent survey finding only about 5% would buy one of its new Creatable World dolls as a holiday gift. Aimee Picchi, USA TODAY, "Mattel’s gender-neutral dolls are ready for the holidays, but shoppers may not be so sure," 26 Nov. 2019 But Josh O'Connor, who plays a young Prince Charles in season three of the popular Netflix series, isn't willing to go that far just yet. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Crown's Josh O'Connor Doesn't Want to Ask Prince Charles About Princess Diana or Camilla," 21 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'willing.' 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 willing

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for willing

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for willing

Last Updated

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Willing.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/willing. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for willing


How to pronounce willing (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of willing

: not refusing to do something
: quick to act or respond : doing something or ready to do something without being persuaded
: done, made, or given by choice


will·​ing | \ ˈwi-liŋ How to pronounce willing (audio) \

Kids Definition of willing

1 : feeling no objection I'm willing to go.
2 : not slow or lazy She's a willing worker.
3 : made, done, or given by choice : voluntary a willing sacrifice

Other Words from willing

willingly adverb
willingness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on willing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for willing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with willing

Spanish Central: Translation of willing

Nglish: Translation of willing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of willing for Arabic Speakers

Comments on willing

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


delight or enjoyment

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