wil·​low | \ ˈwi-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce willow (audio) \

Definition of willow

1 : any of a genus (Salix of the family Salicaceae, the willow family) of trees and shrubs bearing catkins of apetalous flowers and including forms of value for wood, osiers, or tanbark and a few ornamentals
2 : an object made of willow wood especially : a cricket bat

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Other Words from willow

willowlike \ ˈwi-​lō-​ˌlīk How to pronounce willowlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of willow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The cat wanders into the playhouse under the willow, in which Gretyl has built a cave of wool blankets. Rebecca Curtis, The New Yorker, "Hansa and Gretyl and Piece of Shit," 9 Nov. 2020 The secluded park-like grounds are lighted and have natural limestone rock formations, a water well, a sculpture garden and willow and wisteria arbors. Dallas News, "Build your next home to suit your desires," 8 Nov. 2020 She is surrounded by the gold leaves of birch and willow trees. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "The scents, sights and sounds of fall equinox in Alaska," 3 Oct. 2020 Aspirin, made from the bark of willow trees, had been used to treat pain for millennia. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Bloodletting and gas fumes: Quack treatments of the 1918 flu," 17 Oct. 2020 The elusive purple emperor butterfly has made its home in the acres of sallow trees -- a kind of willow -- that flourish on the estate. Hazel Pfeifer, CNN, "This British farm went from a 'biological desert' to biodiversity hotspot by letting the animals take charge," 1 Oct. 2020 Winchester ran ahead of us and began to work wide circles of scent in the willow patches. Anchorage Daily News, "A Denali Highway trip will fill you with wonder, even if it doesn’t fill your freezer," 26 Sep. 2020 On a hazy September afternoon near a willow tree, a boy with a bright red backpack spotted something slimy on the ground. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Death toll passes 8,500 in state, more than 1,700 people currently hospitalized," 25 Sep. 2020 Miles away in Taylorsville, Becky Sandusky has been lamenting the collapse of her neighbor’s 50-foot willow trees, which used to cast their shadow over her yard every afternoon. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utahns say goodbye to beloved trees in the windstorm’s aftermath," 13 Sep. 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for willow

Middle English wilghe, wilowe, from Old English welig; akin to Middle High German wilge willow

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Time Traveler for willow

Time Traveler

The first known use of willow was before the 12th century

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Statistics for willow

Last Updated

14 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Willow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/willow. Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for willow


How to pronounce willow (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of willow

: a tree that has long, narrow leaves and strong, thin branches that are used to make baskets


wil·​low | \ ˈwi-lō How to pronounce willow (audio) \

Kids Definition of willow

: a tree or bush with narrow leaves, catkins for flowers, and tough flexible stems sometimes used in making baskets

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More from Merriam-Webster on willow

Nglish: Translation of willow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of willow for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about willow

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