- to be unwilling: will he, nill he.
- to refuse or reject.
Origin of nill
Examples from the Web for nill
Historical Examples of nill
"Nill ye, will ye," one-half of Scotland already give your songs to other authors.The Letters of Robert Burns
He was carried—will he, nill he—in triumph toward the inn of Mrs. MacAlpine.Red Cap Tales
Samuel Rutherford Crockett
We are marching on, and will we, nill we, must conquer or perish.
People have to eat will they nill they, that they may not betray themselves.The Ladies Lindores, Vol. 3(of 3)
As it nis good, I nill say—or sain, instead of it is not good—I will not say.Chaucer for Children
Mrs. H. R. Haweis
Word Origin and History for nill
Old English nylle, nelle "to be unwilling," from ne "no" (see no) + will (v.). Often paired with will; the construction in nill he, will he, once common, attested from c.1300, surviving principally in willy-nilly, which, however, reverses the usual Middle English word order. Latin expressed a similar idea in nolens volens.