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[with -ee, with-ee] /ˈwɪð i, ˈwɪθ i/ Chiefly British
noun, plural withies.
a willow.
a pliable branch or twig, especially a withe.
a band, loop, halter, or rope of slender twigs; widdy.
adjective, withier, withiest.
made of pliable branches or twigs, especially of withes.
flexible; pliable.
Origin of withy
before 1000; Middle English; Old English wīthig; akin to withe, Old Norse vīthir, Old High German wīda, Greek ītéa willow, Latin vītis vine Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for withy
Historical Examples
  • The withy bands were but weak; it is no great marvel that he shook them off.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • A blasted oak will tumble to the earth, if struck by a thunderbolt,—like a withy.

    The Buccaneer Mrs. S. C. Hall
  • Would you mind taking a turn with me in the withy walk, Harriet Roe?

    Johnny Ludlow. First Series Mrs. Henry Wood
  • As she was passing the top of the withy walk, their voices reached her ear.

    Johnny Ludlow. First Series Mrs. Henry Wood
  • With a wire there is little risk of that; but then the withy does not cut its way into the fish.

    The Gamekeeper at Home Richard Jefferies
  • So much white will not look amiss in this place, and withy is easily worked.

    Rustic Carpentry Paul N. Hasluck
  • I tied a withy round the pat and led it home; but it was all lost by the way.'

    Tales from the Fjeld P. Chr. Asbjrnsen
  • In this Nera goes to tie a withy to the foot of a man who has been hung.

  • It is, however, the plantations of withy or osier that are most important.

    Hodge and His Masters Richard Jefferies
  • The fox had been found in a spinney running down to withy Brook, and his race for life had begun.

    Vanishing Roads and Other Essays Richard Le Gallienne
British Dictionary definitions for withy


noun (pl) withies
a variant spelling of withe (sense 1), withe (sense 2)
a willow tree, esp an osier
(of people) tough and agile
(rare) resembling a withe in strength or flexibility
Word Origin
Old English wīdig(e); related to Old Norse vīthir, Old High German wīda, Latin vītis vine, Sanskrit vītika fetter. See withe, wire
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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Word Origin and History for withy

Old English wiðig "willow, willow twig," from Proto-Germanic *withjon- "willow" (cf. Old Norse viðir, Danish vidje, Old High German wida, German Weide "willow"), from PIE *wei-ti-, suffixed form of root *wei- "to bend, twist" (cf. Avestan vaeiti- "osier," Greek itea "willow," Latin vitis "vine," Lithuanian vytis "willow twig," Polish witwa, Welsh gwden "willow," Russian vitvina "branch, bough").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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