Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. Certainly, surely
  • adv. Really, truly
  • adv. Indeed
  • adj. Certain
  • adj. Sure
  • v. To know.
  • v. To think, suppose.
  • v. To imagine, ween; to deem.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Certainly; really; indeed.
  • transitive v. To think; to suppose; to imagine; -- used chiefly in the first person sing. present tense, I wis. See the Note under ywis.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Certain; sure: especially in the phrases to wisse, for certain, certainly; mid wisse, with certainty.
  • Certainly; truly; indeed: same as iwis.
  • A spurious word, arising from a misunderstanding of the Middle English adverb iwis, often written i-wis, and in Middle English manuscripts i wis, I wis, whence it has been taken as the pronoun I with a verb wis, vaguely regarded as connected with wit (which has a preterit wist). See iwis, and, for the real verb, see wit.
  • n. An abbreviation of Wisconsin.

Etymologies

From Middle English wis ("certain, sure"), from an aphetic form of Middle English iwis, ywis ("certain, sure") (from Old English ġewiss ("certain, sure")), or of North Germanic origin, akin to Icelandic viss ("certain"). More at ywis. (Wiktionary)
From an incorrect division, mistaking iwis ("certain") for I wis ("I know"). See ywis for more information. The German verb wissen appears similar, but in fact corresponds etymologically to the English verb wit; both of those verbs are only indirectly related to this one. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • (v): to know

    November 21, 2007