will·​ing | \ˈwi-liŋ \

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 \ adverb
willingness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for willing


amenable, disposed, game, glad, inclined, minded, ready


disinclined, unamenable, unwilling

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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

According to Daniela Virgona, a 47-year-old third-generation farmer in Salina, the product is so difficult to grow that only the most dedicated stewards are willing to do it. Howie Kahn, Smithsonian, "These Volcanic, Italian Islands Have Been Beloved by Travelers Since Homeric Times," 11 July 2018 On a surprise visit to Afghanistan Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed for peace talks with the Taliban, indicating that the Trump administration would be willing to take part in discussions led by the Afghan government. Laignee Barron, Time, "Mike Pompeo Pushes for Peace Talks With the Taliban During a Surprise Stop in Afghanistan," 10 July 2018 But Azar wasn’t willing to put a number on that tally. Dara Lind, Vox, "The Trump administration just admitted it doesn’t know how many kids are still separated from their parents," 5 July 2018 Check hopes his story will bring him patients or, better yet, an oncologist willing to take over. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "Can the abortion pill treat advanced lung cancer? This infertility expert wants to find out," 3 July 2018 Even if North Korea is willing to cooperate, dismantling its secretive weapons of mass destruction programs, believed to encompass dozens of sites, will be tough. Matthew Pennington And Lolita C. Baldor, The Christian Science Monitor, "US wants North Korea denuclearized in a year, but concerns remain," 2 July 2018 Of course, there’s still the question of whether the member or the candidate is willing to listen. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "Science candidates: High-tech smarts aren’t enough for defeated Obama aide," 28 June 2018 How much are people willing to spend to cut a day or so off of a bout of flu? Helen Branswell, STAT, "A flu drug — shown to reduce the duration of symptoms — could upend treatment in U.S.," 27 June 2018 Those in a financial position to relocate and invest in the out-of-the-way area were older adults willing to move to a community without schools and stores in the immediate vicinity. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Rancho Bernardo, "Rancho Bernardo's founder, Harry Summers, has died," 26 June 2018

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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Statistics for willing

Last Updated

30 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for willing

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

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More Definitions for willing



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 \

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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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).


to express warning or disapproval

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