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[lahyth] /laɪð/
adjective, lither, lithest.
bending readily; pliant; limber; supple; flexible:
the lithe body of a ballerina.
Also, lithesome.
before 900; Middle English lith(e), Old English līthe; cognate with Old Saxon līthi, German lind mild, Latin lentus slow
Related forms
lithely, adverb
litheness, noun
Can be confused
lithe, lissome. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for lit-hest


flexible or supple
Derived Forms
lithely, adverb
litheness, noun
Word Origin
Old English (in the sense: gentle; C15: supple); related to Old High German lindi soft, Latin lentus slow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for lit-hest
O.E. liðe "soft, mild, gentle, meek," from P.Gmc. *linthijaz (cf. O.S. lithi, O.H.G. lindi, Ger. lind, O.N. linr, with characteristic loss of "n" before "th" in Eng.), from PIE base *lent- "flexible" (cf. L. lentus "flexible, pliant, slow"). In M.E., used of the weather. Current sense of "easily flexible" is from c.1400.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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