wil·​low ˈwi-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce willow (audio)
: 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
: an object made of willow wood
especially : a cricket bat
willowlike adjective

Examples of willow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This skin-softening cleanser is spiked with a slew of complexion-enhancing ingredients like willow bark and pink clay to tackle breakouts, oily skin, and dead skin build-up. Jennifer Hussein, Allure, 21 Nov. 2023 Aspens turn a luminous gold, contrasting beautifully with the evergreen pines and the vibrant hues of willows. By sunset, Sunset Magazine, 21 Sep. 2023 Clamming in Arizona brings back memories of Cambodia A forest of cottonwood, willow and mesquite trees frame the Verde River. The Arizona Republic, 9 Aug. 2023 Feldstein, for example, used all paper flowers in lieu of real ones, whereas AnnaSophia Robb lined her aisle with willow tree branches. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 19 Oct. 2023 Its approach is a gentle slope planted with weeping willows; the beach is planted with yellow umbrellas. Penelope Green, New York Times, 8 Oct. 2023 Still, Sukkot is a joyous occasion, one that is centered on four plant species: the myrtle, willow, citron and date palm, whose frond is known as the lulav. Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times, 28 Sep. 2023 The Asian longhorned beetle is an invasive, wood-boring beetle that attacks 12 types of hardwood trees in North America, including maple, elm, buckeye, birch and willow trees. Haadiza Ogwude, The Enquirer, 11 Aug. 2023 Standard prairie/plains food sources include willow, maple, ryegrass, bromegrasses, and agaves. Jace Bauserman, Field & Stream, 2 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'willow.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near willow

Cite this Entry

“Willow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/willow. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


wil·​low ˈwil-ō How to pronounce willow (audio)
: any of a genus of trees and shrubs that often have narrow leaves, produce catkins for flowers, and include some used for their wood, for making baskets, or as ornamentals
willowlike adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on willow

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