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

Both are probably traveling a trail blazed by moose, which also eat willows and now number roughly 1,600 along the Colville River, where they were absent before. Katie Orlinsky, National Geographic, "Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. That affects us all.," 16 Aug. 2019 Hugo and Winchester lit out ahead of us on the trail for 100 yards before crashing through the willows and emerging as white specks in the wide-open mountain valley ahead of us. Anchorage Daily News, "What do you do with bird dogs in the off-season? Love them, play with them, get to know them.," 9 July 2019 Since 2014, the Elwha’s delta has grown by at least 100 acres and pushed out into the strait more than 300 feet, creating new space for birds, butterflies, willow, alder, yellow-tongued monkeyflower, and lavender searocket. Starre Vartan, National Geographic, "Beavers on the coast are helping salmon bounce back. Here’s how.," 13 Aug. 2019 Rustic willow obelisk: Made from natural willow, this piece has a casual look and can be used as a support for long-stemmed or climbing plants. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Colorful, whimsical or classic, yard art can enhance your garden’s overall appeal," 3 July 2019 Colorado College State of the Rockies project specialist Cyndy Hines pointed to cottonwood trees, box elders, willows and rare flowers. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "A run through Colorado’s Yampa whitewater reveals the wildness that remains. But will the West’s rivers survive urban demands?," 23 June 2019 Here along the rolling hills west of Santa Barbara, where willows line the creek and cattle roam free, the verdant land unfurls to reveal a rugged coastline largely unspoiled by man. San Diego Union-Tribune, "A look behind the Hollister Ranch gates. Will the public ever access these exclusive beaches?," 12 Apr. 2019 Whether the topic is picking old locks or smelting or gathering basket willow, history YouTube comments sections are wholesome places, full of follow-up questions and people marveling at how soothing the video is. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "Spiff Up Your Real-World Skills With Old Timey YouTube," 25 June 2019 The water runs fast, flashing between banks of oak and willow, cottonwood and box elder and hackberry, and intricate wild-haired tapestries of fern. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's magazine, "Ramblin’ Man," 24 June 2019

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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Statistics for willow

Last Updated

22 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for willow

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

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More Definitions for willow



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with willow

Spanish Central: Translation of willow

Nglish: Translation of willow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of willow for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about willow

Comments on willow

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


to fake an opponent out of position

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