Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[wil-eez] /ˈwɪl iz/
noun, (used with a plural verb) Informal.
nervousness or fright; jitters; creeps (usually preceded by the):
That horror movie gave me the willies.
Origin of willies
1895-1900, Americanism; origin obscure; cf. -s3


[wil-ee] /ˈwɪl i/
a male given name, form of William.
a female given name.


or willey

[wil-ee] /ˈwɪl i/
noun, plural willies.
willow (def 4).
verb (used with object), willied, willying.
to willow (cotton).
1825-35; special use of dial. willy, Old English wilige basket (orig. one made of willow twigs); akin to willow Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for willies
Historical Examples
  • The "willies" themselves had had the best of care and attention.

    Life in a Tank Richard Haigh
  • If I'm in for having a trained nurse do it for me, it'll give me the willies.

    T. Tembarom Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • They give me the jimjams, the willies, and I want to get away.

    A Yankee in the Far East George Hoyt Allen
  • It was not willies knock, she knew, but it might be news of Willie.

  • He is quite good at the willies,24 and so I think we have got a fair chance.

    Sixty Squadron R.A.F. Group-Captain A. J. L. Scott
  • Minnie Mead, willies wife, turned in $40 by her sewing machine.

    Stanley in Africa James P. Boyd
  • There is also a place for a gun in the rear, but this is rarely used, for "willies" do not often turn tail and flee!

    Life in a Tank Richard Haigh
  • In a word, we had succumbed to the "willies," and would permit no man to utter a word of criticism against them.

    Life in a Tank Richard Haigh
  • It was no fault of willies that the play had not succeeded, and it was cruel to visit such a misfortune upon his innocent head.

  • A guy like me, which has got a real expressive face, could get the willies just looking at them.

British Dictionary definitions for willies


plural noun
(slang) the willies, nervousness, jitters, or fright (esp in the phrase give (or get) the willies)
Word Origin
C20: of unknown origin


(Brit, informal) a childish or jocular term for penis
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 willies

1896, "spell of nervousness," perhaps from the woollies, a dialectal term for "nervous uneasiness," probably in reference to the itchiness of wool garments.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for willies



  1. The penis; weenie •Adopted in US slang fairly recently: The notion that some small part of the cosmic order hung on our teenage willies was a heavy load for us young soldiers in St. Ignatius' Army of Christ/ The plethysmograph, basically a strain gauge wrapped around the willy, electronically registers the pulls and tugs of arousal and then draws them as jagged peaks and valleys on a line graph (1905+)
  2. Corn Willie

Related Terms


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with willies


see under the creeps
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for willies

Difficulty index for willies

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for willies

Scrabble Words With Friends