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[wil-it] /ˈwɪl ɪt/
noun, plural willets (especially collectively) willet.
a large, eastern North American shorebird, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, having a striking black and white wing pattern.
Origin of willet
1700-10, Americanism; short for pill-will-willet, conventional imitative of its cry Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for willet
Historical Examples
  • Mr willet looked at him, and saw it was Hugh; but he said nothing, and thought nothing.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • Everybody looked at Mr willet, after this alarming suggestion.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • It has been reported that Mr willet, previously to making answer, winked.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • "She is gone, Doctor willet," said the son, turning to greet the new-comer.

    Victor's Triumph Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
  • Up, and willet come home in the morning, and, God forgive me!

  • He had a twin brother, willet, but he died when he was only five months old.

  • willet nodded and Robert joyfully began to prepare for the blaze.

    The Masters of the Peaks Joseph A. Altsheler
  • "Likely he's on his way to a French camp with information about our forces," said willet.

    The Masters of the Peaks Joseph A. Altsheler
  • willet knew that the French and Tandakora suspected no pursuit.

    The Masters of the Peaks Joseph A. Altsheler
  • "We can do nothing at present so far as the war is concerned," said willet.

    The Masters of the Peaks Joseph A. Altsheler
British Dictionary definitions for willet


a large American shore bird, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, having a long stout bill, long legs, and a grey plumage with black-and-white wings: family Scolopacidae (sandpipers, etc), order Charadriiformes
Word Origin
short for pill-will-willet imitation of its cry
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
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