Definitions

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

  • adverb In a contrary or counterclockwise direction.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • See withershins.

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

  • adverb obsolete The wrong way.
  • adverb dialectal, Wicca Anticlockwise, counter-clockwise.

Etymologies

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

[Middle Low German weddersinnes, from Middle High German widersinnes : wider, back (from Old High German widar; see wi- in Indo-European roots) + sinnes, in the direction of (from sin, direction, from Old High German; see sent- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle Low German weddersins, weddersinnes, from Middle High German widersinnes, from wider- ("wither-") + genitive of sin ("direction, way").

Examples

  • We move naturally in a circle around the grave, going to the left, facing outward—what we call widdershins.

    Breath

  • We move naturally in a circle around the grave, going to the left, facing outward—what we call widdershins.

    Breath

  • Move clockwise, called deosil, to charge up with energy, and move counterclockwise, called widdershins, to banish energy!

    Where To Park Your Broomstick

  • Move clockwise, called deosil, to charge up with energy, and move counterclockwise, called widdershins, to banish energy!

    Where To Park Your Broomstick

  • More interestingly, the old (especially Scottish) word widdershins or withershins, etymologically suggesting ` a contrary direction, 'similarly refers to a movement against the apparent course of the sun and therefore considered unlucky or unnatural.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XIII No 1

  • I can't remember the last time I heard the word "widdershins" outside of a fairy tale, but reading it had a big impact on how I read the novel and read the characters.

    Truth and Consequences

  • Plus, you know, it's just fun to say "widdershins" over and over.

    Monday TV stuff

  • As the dancers faced outwards, this would mean that they moved 'widdershins', i.e. against the sun.

    The Witch-cult in Western Europe A Study in Anthropology

  • House, that is walking "widdershins" or "against the sun" ( "with the sun" being like the movement of a watch).

    Arabian nights. English

  • To cast a successful love spell, he says, one must circle such trees "widdershins"

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Antonym deasil.

    December 17, 2006

  • This is the way to open a jar of peeniebunkle!

    September 29, 2007

  • yey!

    December 22, 2007

  • The opposite of clockwise

    name of a book by Oliver Onions

    June 20, 2008

  • This word means to move in a direction opposite to the sun, or counterclockwise.

    March 5, 2009