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lithe

[lahyth] /laɪð/
adjective, lither, lithest.
1.
bending readily; pliant; limber; supple; flexible:
the lithe body of a ballerina.
Also, lithesome.
Origin
900
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.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for lithest

lithe

/laɪð/
adjective
1.
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 lithest

lithe

adj.

Old English liðe "soft, mild, gentle, meek," from Proto-Germanic *linthja- (cf. Old Saxon lithi "soft, mild, gentle," Old High German lindi, German lind, Old Norse linr, with characteristic loss of "n" before "th" in English), from PIE root *lent- "flexible" (cf. Latin lentus "flexible, pliant, slow," Sanskrit lithi). In Middle English, used of the weather. Current sense of "easily flexible" is from c.1300. Related: Litheness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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