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[oh-zher] /ˈoʊ ʒər/
any of various willows, as the red osier, having tough, flexible twigs or branches that are used for wickerwork.
a twig from such a willow.
any of various North American dogwoods.
Origin of osier
1300-50; Middle English < Middle French; akin to Medieval Latin ausāria willow bed
Related forms
osiered, adjective
osierlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for osier
  • And he fenced it with wattled osier withies from stem to stern, to be a bulwark against the wave, and piled up wood to back them.
  • The red osier dogwood provides dense cover for a large number of wildlife species.
  • Red osier dogwoods turn a bright crimson color in fall along riparian areas of the montane woodlands.
  • They are usually dominated by willows and/or red-osier dogwood, and sometimes silky dogwood.
  • Woody plants which are particularly suitable to contour wattling are willow, red-osier dogwood, and snowberry.
  • The shrub-carr areas include areas with red-osier dogwood and willow and disturbed areas with buckthorn.
British Dictionary definitions for osier


any of various willow trees, esp Salix viminalis, whose flexible branches or twigs are used for making baskets, etc
a twig or branch from such a tree
any of several North American dogwoods, esp the red osier
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, probably from Medieval Latin ausēria, perhaps of Gaulish origin; compare Breton aoz
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 osier

species of willow used in basket-work, c.1300, from Old French osier "willow twig" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin osera "willow," ausaria "willow bed," of unknown origin, perhaps from Gaulish. Old English had the word as oser, from Medieval Latin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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