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Word of the Day
Sunday, May 04, 2014

Definitions for withershins

  1. Chiefly Scot. in a direction contrary to the natural one, especially contrary to the apparent course of the sun or counterclockwise: considered as unlucky or causing disaster. Also, widdershins.

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Citations for withershins
There, as the moon rises, walk three times withershins round the riven trunk, and cast the broth on the ground before her. Walter Douglas Campbell, Beyond the Border, 1898
To move against the sun was improper and productive of evil consequences, and the name given to this direction of movement was withershins. James Napier, Folk lore: or, Superstitious Beliefs in the West of Scotland Within This Century, 1879
Origin of withershins
1505-1515
Withershins comes from the Middle High German wider meaning "against; opposite" and sin "way; course." It entered English in the early 1500s.