Definitions

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

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • noun strong flexible twig

Etymologies

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

[withe + –y. N., from Middle English withye, willow branch, from Old English wīthig, willow; see wei- in Indo-European roots.]

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 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.

    Archive 2009-02-01

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

    Shed Hunting Irony

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

    Scones For Playgroup

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

    Shed Hunting Irony

  • 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

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

    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

Comments

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

  • '...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

  • another usage note on withies

    March 14, 2008