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

Unlike other catkin-bearing trees, willows are not wind-pollinated. Dave Taft, New York Times, "Spring Arrives on Kitten’s Paws," 4 Apr. 2018 Terms to describe the natural world—such as acorn, adder, bluebell, bramble, otter, raven and willow—have been banished to make room for such chilly contemporary words as blog, broadband and bullet-point. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "What to Give: Children’s Books," 15 Nov. 2018 There is willow bark extract which decongests the skin and tightens pores, as well as alpha-lipoic acid to give skin a bright, healthy glow. Micaela English, Town & Country, "The 4-Step Skin Care Plan I Am Hooked On For Life," 18 Mar. 2015 For example, the medicinal effect of the bark of the willow, from which aspirin is derived, has been known for centuries. Alexandra Gekas, Woman's Day, "5 Pain-Fighting Foods," 31 Mar. 2011 Granny decided to have someone trim the branches of the dozen willows that stood around the well pond. Lu Yang, The New Yorker, "Silver Tiger," 4 June 2017 The mother trees are somewhere else, and the seeds have been brought in by birds (mulberries, hackberries) or the wind (cottonwoods, willows and box elders). Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "Volunteering is great but 'volunteer' plants are a whole different story," 1 June 2018 On the five hundred acres of the Storm King Art Center, in Cornwall, New York, the sight of weeping willows or maples is no surprise—but a tropical-palm grove? The New Yorker, "Outdoor Artworks Tackle Environmental Issues, at Storm King," 22 June 2018 Basically, willows can be found wherever freshwater is abundant. Dave Taft, New York Times, "Spring Arrives on Kitten’s Paws," 4 Apr. 2018

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

5 May 2019

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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

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using a distributed computer network

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