twig

1
[twig]

noun

a slender shoot of a tree or other plant.
a small offshoot from a branch or stem.
a small, dry, woody piece fallen from a branch: a fire of twigs.
Anatomy. one of the minute branches of a blood vessel or nerve.

Origin of twig

1
before 950; Middle English; Old English twig, twigge, orig. (something) divided in two; akin to Old High German zwīg (German Zweig), Dutch twijg; compare Sanskrit dvikás double
Related formstwig·less, adjectivetwig·like, adjective

twig

2
[twig]British

verb (used with object), twigged, twig·ging.

to look at; observe: Now, twig the man climbing there, will you?
to see; perceive: Do you twig the difference in colors?
to understand.

verb (used without object), twigged, twig·ging.

to understand.

Origin of twig

2
1755–65; < Irish tuigim I understand, with English w reflecting the offglide before i of the velarized Irish t typical of southern Ireland; cf. dig2

twig

3
[twig]

noun British.

style; fashion.

Origin of twig

3
First recorded in 1805–15; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for twig

limb, sprig, shoot, scion, spray, switch, branch, offshoot

Examples from the Web for twig

Contemporary Examples of twig

  • Suddenly, we hear the sound of a twig cracking; all three men look around anxiously, particularly JASON.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Who Killed the Horror Film?

    Tom Shone

    March 13, 2009

Historical Examples of twig

  • Close on our right a twig snapped and I began to gather myself for the spring.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Not a sound disturbed the oppressive quiet, not the quiver of a twig.

    A Woman Tenderfoot

    Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson

  • Was it his imagination, or did a branch snap, a twig rustle down the road?

    The Green Satin Gown

    Laura E. Richards

  • The painter would not depict every twig, as would the naturalist.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • At first they could not break it, but when they took it twig by twig they broke it easily.

    Master and Man

    Leo Tolstoy


British Dictionary definitions for twig

twig

1

noun

any small branch or shoot of a tree or other woody plant
something resembling this, esp a minute branch of a blood vessel
Derived Formstwiglike, adjective

Word Origin for twig

Old English twigge; related to Old Norse dvika consisting of two, Old High German zwīg twig, Old Danish tvige fork

twig

2

verb twigs, twigging or twigged British informal

to understand (something)
to find out or suddenly comprehend (something)he hasn't twigged yet
(tr) rare to perceive (something)

Word Origin for twig

C18: perhaps from Gaelic tuig I understand
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 twig
n.

Old English twigge, from Proto-Germanic *twigan (cf. Middle Dutch twijch, Dutch twijg, Old High German zwig, German Zweig "branch, twig"), from the root of twi- (see twin), here meaning "forked" (as in Old English twisel "fork, point of division").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper