Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • auxiliary verb To be unwilling; will not.
  • transitive verb Not to will; not to wish.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Will not; wish not; refuse; reject.
  • Will not; be unwilling.
  • noun Negative volition; a “will not.”
  • noun The shining sparks of brass given off in trying and melting the ore.
  • noun Scales of hot iron from the forge.
  • noun A dialectal form of needle.
  • noun A dialectal form of nail.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To be unwilling; to refuse to act.
  • intransitive verb whether he wills it or not; usually contracted to willy-nilly.
  • transitive verb obsolete Not to will; to refuse; to reject.
  • noun Shining sparks thrown off from melted brass.
  • noun Scales of hot iron from the forge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Shining sparks thrown off from melted brass.
  • noun Scales of hot iron from the forge.
  • verb modal auxiliary, obsolete To be unwilling; will not (+ infinitive).
  • verb intransitive, archaic To be unwilling.
  • verb transitive, archaic To reject, refuse, negate.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English nilen, from Old English nyllan : ne, not; see ne in Indo-European roots + willan, to desire; see wel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Compare Irish and Gaelic neul star, light. Compare nebula.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English nillen, from Old English nillan, nellan, nyllan ("to be unwilling, refuse, prevent; not want to"), corresponding to ne +‎ will. Cognate with Old Frisian nelle.

Examples

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