Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[wil-oh] /ˈwɪl oʊ/
any tree or shrub of the genus Salix, characterized by narrow, lance-shaped leaves and dense catkins bearing small flowers, many species having tough, pliable twigs or branches used for wickerwork, etc.
Compare willow family.
the wood of any of these trees.
Informal. something, especially a cricket bat, made of willow wood.
Also called willower, willy. a machine consisting essentially of a cylinder armed with spikes revolving within a spiked casing, for opening and cleaning cotton or other fiber.
verb (used with object)
to treat (textile fibers) with a willow.
Origin of willow
before 900; Middle English wilwe, variant of wilghe, Old English welig; cognate with Old Saxon wilgia, Dutch wilg, Low German wilge
Related forms
willowlike, adjective
willowish, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for willow
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Young folk walked the roads by night, singing and waving branches of willow.

    Mothwise Knut Hamsun
  • Straight or bending like a willow wand, Giuseppe kept in front.

    New Italian sketches John Addington Symonds
  • So they proceeded till they reached a bank and willow hedge, through which horses could hardly have pursued them.

    The Caged Lion Charlotte M. Yonge
  • “The boys are working the willow Creek range,” he said, sharply.

    'Firebrand' Trevison Charles Alden Seltzer
  • No one would consider it difficult to weave cane or willow wands as tall as himself.

    Field and Hedgerow Richard Jefferies
British Dictionary definitions for willow


any of numerous salicaceous trees and shrubs of the genus Salix, such as the weeping willow and osiers of N temperate regions, which have graceful flexible branches, flowers in catkins, and feathery seeds
the whitish wood of certain of these trees
something made of willow wood, such as a cricket or baseball bat
a machine having a system of revolving spikes for opening and cleaning raw textile fibres
Derived Forms
willowish, willow-like, adjective
Word Origin
Old English welig; related to wilige wicker basket, Old Saxon wilgia, Middle High German wilge, Greek helikē willow, helix twisted


a small town in S Alaska, about 113 km (70 miles) northwest of Anchorage: chosen as the site of the projected new state capital in 1976, a plan which never came to fruition. Pop: 1658 (2000)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for willow

Old English welig, from Proto-Germanic *walg- (cf. Old Saxon wilgia, Middle Dutch wilghe, Dutch wilg), probably from PIE *wel- "to turn, roll," with derivatives referring to curved, enclosing objects. The change in form to -ow (14c.) paralleled that of bellow and fellow. The more typical Germanic word for the tree is represented by withy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for willow

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for willow