Definitions

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

  • adj. Made of or as flexible as withes; tough.
  • adj. Wiry and agile.
  • n. A rope or band made of withes.
  • n. A long flexible twig, as that of an osier.
  • n. A tree or shrub having such twigs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Flexible, like a withe.
  • n. The osier willow (Salix viminalis).
  • n. A long flexible twig of the osier; a withe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Made of withes; like a withe; flexible and tough; also, abounding in withes.
  • n. The osier willow (Salix viminalis). See Osier, n. (a).
  • n. A withe. See Withe, 1.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Made of withes; like a withe; flexible and tough.
  • n. A willow of any species.
  • n. A withe; a twig; an osier.
  • n. A halter made of withes.
  • n. In ceramics, same as twig, 3.

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

  • n. strong flexible twig

Etymologies

withe + -y1. N., from Middle English withye, willow branch, from Old English wīthig, willow; see wei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The withy is a reasonable large tree, (for some have been found ten foot about) is fit to be planted on high banks, and ditch-sides within reach of water and the weeping sides of hills; because they extend their roots deeper than either sallows or willows.

    Sylva, Vol. 1 (of 2) Or A Discourse of Forest Trees

  • I was out this weekend and saw 3 bucks withy full head gear.

    Shed Hunting Irony

  • I believe that the main issue withy intellectual property is indefinite or overly long protections (e.g. 75 years), and that is arguably a hindrance to economic growth.

    Tax Cuts for the Rich, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Either way, when you do bake them, brush their tops withy melted butter and then sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.

    Scones For Playgroup

  • He cocked an ironic eye at the enormous withy basket I used for gathering.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • Geilie looped the twisted withy handle of her basket over her neck, picked up her skirt and stepped into the stream, shivering at the cold water.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • I dreamed that down by the river I cut red osiers to make withy fences for raised beds behind the house.

    Wildfire

  • The day I go over to talk willow with Brian White on his withy beds at Kingsbury Episcopi, a mad westerly wind is blowing across the Levels.

    Wildwood

  • Several summers back, when the West Moor withy beds were flooded with stagnant river water full of sewage and dead fish after heavy rains, not a single person from the Environment Agency would come out to inspect the ailing willows.

    Wildwood

  • A good many naturalists and walkers come to West Moor and appreciate the culture as well as the nature of the withy beds, yet Brian says the Environment Agency has plans to flood the place permanently.

    Wildwood

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • another usage note on withies

    March 14, 2008

  • '...perhaps you can get up at five in the morning, and go down to Cordery's Moor, and watch by the great withy pollard which hangs over the backwater, where the otters breed sometimes, and then say, if otters at play in the water are not the merriest, lithest, gracefullest creatures you ever saw."
    _Water Babies, Charles Kingsley, 1937

    January 28, 2008