Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various deciduous trees or shrubs of the genus Salix, having usually narrow leaves, unisexual flowers borne in catkins, and strong lightweight wood.
  • n. The wood of any of these trees.
  • n. Something, such as a cricket bat, that is made from willow.
  • n. A textile machine consisting of a spiked drum revolving inside a chamber fitted internally with spikes, used to open and clean unprocessed cotton or wool.
  • transitive v. To open and clean (textile fibers) with a willow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various deciduous trees or shrubs in the genus Salix, in the willow family Salicaceae, found primarily on moist soils in cooler zones in the northern hemisphere.
  • n. A cricket bat
  • n. The baseball bat.
  • n. A rotating, spiked drum used to open, and clean cotton heads
  • v. To open and cleanse (cotton, flax, wool, etc.) by means of a willow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any tree or shrub of the genus Salix, including many species, most of which are characterized often used as an emblem of sorrow, desolation, or desertion. “A wreath of willow to show my forsaken plight.” Sir W. Scott. Hence, a lover forsaken by, or having lost, the person beloved, is said to wear the willow.
  • n. A machine in which cotton or wool is opened and cleansed by the action of long spikes projecting from a drum which revolves within a box studded with similar spikes; -- probably so called from having been originally a cylindrical cage made of willow rods, though some derive the term from winnow, as denoting the winnowing, or cleansing, action of the machine. Called also willy, twilly, twilly devil, and devil.
  • transitive v. To open and cleanse, as cotton, flax, or wool, by means of a willow. See willow, n., 2.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant of the genus Salix, consisting of trees, shrubs, and rarely almost herbaceous plants.
  • n. The wood of the willow; hence, in base-ball and cricket, the bat.
  • n. See willow-herb.
  • n. The variety Scouleriana of Salix flavescens, found on the western coast of North America, a small tree with the wood light, hard, strong, and tough.
  • n. Same as bay willow .
  • n. See willow-herb.
  • n. Salix Sitchensis, a low much-branched tree of the Pacific coast from California northward.
  • Made of the wood of the willow; consisting of willow.
  • Of the color of the bark of young willow-wood; of a dull yellowish-green color.
  • To beat, as cotton, etc., with willow rods, in order to loosen it and eject the impurities; hence, to pick and clean, as any fibrous material; treat with the willow or willowing-machine.
  • n. Same as blackbutt.
  • n. Same as coobah.
  • n. A power-machine for extracting dirt and foreign matter from hemp and flax, for cleaning cotton, and for tearing open and cleaning wool preparatory to Spinning.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a textile machine having a system of revolving spikes for opening and cleaning raw textile fibers
  • n. any of numerous deciduous trees and shrubs of the genus Salix

Etymologies

Middle English wilowe, from Old English welig; see wel-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English wilwe, welew, variant of wilghe, from Old English welig, from Proto-Germanic *weligaz (compare West Frisian wylch, Dutch wilg), from Proto-Indo-European *u̯elig- (compare Ancient Greek (Arcadian) ἑλίκη (helíkē), Hittite welku ‘grass’), from *u̯el- ‘twist, turn’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • _Pussy willow, Glaucous willow_ 40, 41, 171 falcata, Pursh _Black willow_ 42 fragilis, L. _Crack willow, Brittle willow_ 43-45 nigra, Marsh.

    Handbook of the Trees of New England

  • Dwarf willow is the only "tree" species up there and it grows along the ground between the rocks. jjjp

    flags

  • A section of a branch of birch or willow from the north only a couple of inches in diameter will show one or two hundred annual rings.

    Factors Affecting Development of Canada's North

  • They go to some far trysting-place, some nest that is to be in willow or darkling fir, some place that their ancestors have known; and we are left with a memory of wings dividing the air and a sense of frustration.

    The Spring of Joy: A Little Book of Healing

  • The very beetle climbing a rough willow is redolent of flowers.

    The Spring of Joy: A Little Book of Healing

  • Our plain willow chairs had ordinary covers, which, to my mind, rather interfered with sightseeing.

    Nellie Bly's Book: Around the World in Seventy-Two Days

  • These valuable skins are always stretched in willow hoops, varying from eighteen inches, to three feet in diameter, according to the size of the skins, and have a reddish appearance on the flesh side, which is exposed to the sun.

    Life in the Rocky Mountains

  • Meanwhile the Fireman’s wife had killed and cooked two chickens; so, as soon as Zau al-Makan entered and seated himself on the carpet, the husband arose and, dissolving sugar in willow flower water, made him drink of it.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • From there, demands for commissions came his way, and he has built everything from meditation treehouses in Hungary and outside Rome, to his most recent project: a treehouse on the river Spree for a client in Berlin, integrated into a weeping willow, that is for "meeting friends, writing and pleasure," he says.

    Closer to the Stars

  • At this stage, the willow is a soft wood, but once the face and edges of the bat have been compressed in a roller, it becomes a hardwood.

    Wildwood

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Comments

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  • :-)

    October 4, 2009

  • No :-) It's even legal to grow weeds under certain conditions: former Test player Ian Callen has a whole plantation of cricket bats growing in my home town.

    October 4, 2009

  • This wouldn't be a conspiracy emanating from your national summer game, would it, 'lby?

    October 4, 2009

  • Most species of willow are considered WONS (weeds of national significance) in Australia.

    October 4, 2009

  • "...
    It's cruel I know
    At least they tell me so
    Well someone lock me up and throw away the key
    Because I'm not ashamed, oh no
    Oh, willow

    That I only write love songs
    To those whom I don't love
    I only reach for him
    Who's tied to someone else's glove
    That which I hold inside
    Which I admire and deride
    Which I protect and hide is yours

    Slander and dissention
    They're parlor games to me
    Papers overrun with lies too mad to mention
    You say they never hurt you
    No consequence, I'm happy
    We're much too far above it all
    But oh no, that's not true

    These wicked pastimes take their toll
    These tyrant vices break your soul
    Deliver me from all I am
    And all I never want to be
    ..."
    -- Emilie Autumn - "Willow"

    September 22, 2008

  • I’m under your spell
    Surging like the sea
    Wanting you so helplessly
    I break with every swell
    Lost in ecstasy
    Spread beneath my willow tree

    You make me com-plete

    - Tara, Once More With Feeling

    December 19, 2007

  • I had a go at using a hurley on my visit to the museum at Croke Park. My bash with the ash was fun :-)

    November 30, 2007

  • Oddly, the Spanish word for willow is sauce.

    The hurley used to hit the ball in hurling (the sport of Cuchulain and other legendary Irish heroes) is generally made from the wood of the ash tree. One unfortunate consequence of this is a regrettable overuse of the phrase "clash of the ash" by lazy sports journalists.

    November 30, 2007

  • Cricket bats are exclusively made of willow. Dennis Lillee twice used an aluminium bat in Test matches in the 1970's before the laws of the game were adjusted to only allow wooden bats. Synthetic and metal bats are sometimes still used in practice.

    November 30, 2007

  • We hanged our harps on the willows.
    Bible, Psalm cxxxvii. 2.

    December 8, 2006