pussy willow

[ poo s-ee ]
/ ˈpʊs i /

noun

a small willow, Salix discolor, of eastern North America, having silky catkins.
any of various similar willows.

Origin of pussy willow

An Americanism dating back to 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pussy-willow

  • One bright day in February I found a pussy-willow tree, with its deep purple buds showing not a hint of the life within.

  • We shall take home a band of the Monkeys, tree and all, and you will learn that a pussy-willow is only a baby Monkey half done.

    Woodland Tales|Ernest Seton-Thompson
  • She made some pussy-willow buds to look like little cats on a stick.

    Peeps at People|Robert Cortes Holliday
  • I got lots of pussy-willow, and some little fellows told me there were May-flowers somewhere.

    Julia The Apostate|Josephine Daskam

British Dictionary definitions for pussy-willow

pussy willow

/ (ˈpʊsɪ) /

noun

a willow tree that produces silvery silky catkins, esp Salix caprea or S. cinerea in Britain or S. discolor in North America
any of various similar willows
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