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.