1 : willow; especially : one whose pliable twigs are used for furniture and basketry
2 : a flexible slender twig or branch
Did You Know?
Withy is a word with several synonyms. In its broadest use, it is simply another word for "willow," but it can also be used for a particular category of willows which are also known by the name osier. Additionally, the word withe can be substituted for the "flexible slender twig or branch" sense of withy. Osier entered English from medieval French, whereas willow, withy, and withe all have their origins in Old English. Willow comes from welig; withy comes from wīthig; and withe comes from withthe, a word indirectly related to wīthig.
"The switch, significantly, is … a withy of great suppleness and bite, a two-edged sword." — Janette Turner Hospital, The Last Magician, 1992
"'Care to walk up wi' me, Sassenach? It's a fine morning, and ye can bring your wee basket.' He cocked an ironic eye at the enormous withy basket I used for gathering." — Diana Gabaldon, Outlander, 1991
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of withy and withe that refers to a flexible slender twig or branch: wi _ _ e _.VIEW THE ANSWER
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