willy-nilly

adverb or adjective
wil·​ly-nil·​ly | \ ˌwi-lē-ˈni-lē How to pronounce willy-nilly (audio) \

Definition of willy-nilly

1 : by compulsion : without choice
2 : in a haphazard or spontaneous manner

First Known Use of willy-nilly

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for willy-nilly

alteration of will I nill I or will ye nill ye or will he nill he

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Time Traveler for willy-nilly

Time Traveler

The first known use of willy-nilly was in 1608

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Cite this Entry

“Willy-nilly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/willy-nilly. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for willy-nilly

willy-nilly

adverb
How to pronounce willy-nilly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of willy-nilly

: in a careless and unplanned way
: in a way that does not allow any choices or planning

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for willy-nilly

Nglish: Translation of willy-nilly for Spanish Speakers

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