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See more synonyms for lithe on Thesaurus.com
adjective, lith·er, lith·est.
  1. bending readily; pliant; limber; supple; flexible: the lithe body of a ballerina.
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Also lithe·some [lahyth-suh m] /ˈlaɪð səm/.

Origin of lithe

before 900; Middle English lith(e), Old English līthe; cognate with Old Saxon līthi, German lind “mild,” Latin lentus “slow”
Related formslithe·ly, adverblithe·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for lithesome

pliable, spry, agile, nimble, lithe, resilient, graceful, supple, elastic, limber, malleable, springy, pliant, flexible, svelte, wiry, lanky, slight, fragile, slim

Examples from the Web for lithesome

Historical Examples of lithesome

  • Her drawings were replete with lithesome curves; so, too, was her literary style.

    Local Color

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • He was as lithesome as an Indian, and could outdo him in some physical efforts and endurance.

  • She wore a gown of shimmering white which clung to her lithesome figure in soft folds.

    Bee and Butterfly

    Lucy Foster Madison

  • The long, yellow wave curled inwards from both flanks, the men going forward with quick, lithesome steps.

  • He saw another trading Post, and a fair, lithesome form walking up the trail, and humming catches of an old song.

British Dictionary definitions for lithesome


  1. a less common word for lissom
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Word Origin for lithesome

C18: from lithe + -some 1


  1. flexible or supple
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Derived Formslithely, adverblitheness, noun

Word Origin for lithe

Old English (in the sense: gentle; C15: supple); related to Old High German lindi soft, Latin lentus slow
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

Word Origin and History for lithesome


1768, from lithe + -some (1). Related: Lithesomely; lithesomeness.

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Old English liðe "soft, mild, gentle, meek," from Proto-Germanic *linthja- (cf. Old Saxon lithi "soft, mild, gentle," Old High German lindi, German lind, Old Norse linr, with characteristic loss of "n" before "th" in English), from PIE root *lent- "flexible" (cf. Latin lentus "flexible, pliant, slow," Sanskrit lithi). In Middle English, used of the weather. Current sense of "easily flexible" is from c.1300. Related: Litheness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper