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withers

[with -erz] /ˈwɪð ərz/
noun, (used with a plural verb)
1.
the highest part of the back at the base of the neck of a horse, cow, sheep, etc.
Idioms
2.
wring one's withers, to cause one anxiety or trouble:
The long involved lawsuit is wringing his withers.
Origin
1535-1545
1535-45; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for wring her withers

withers

/ˈwɪðəz/
plural noun
1.
the highest part of the back of a horse, behind the neck between the shoulders
Word Origin
C16: short for widersones, from widerwith + -sones, perhaps variant of sinew; related to German Widerrist, Old English withre resistance
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 wring her withers

withers

n.

1570s, probably from a dialectal survival of Old English wiðer "against, contrary, opposite" (see with) + plural suffix. Possibly so called because the withers are the parts of the animal that oppose the load. Cf. German Widerrist "withers," from wider "against" + Rist "wrist."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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