- any tree or shrub of the genus Salix, characterized by narrow, lance-shaped leaves and dense catkins bearing small flowers, many species having tough, pliable twigs or branches used for wickerwork, etc.Compare willow family.
- the wood of any of these trees.
- Informal. something, especially a cricket bat, made of willow wood.
- Also called willower, willy. a machine consisting essentially of a cylinder armed with spikes revolving within a spiked casing, for opening and cleaning cotton or other fiber.
- to treat (textile fibers) with a willow.
Origin of willow
Examples from the Web for willows
Kate was visiting the Willows Primary School, which is, against all the odds, one of the city's most successful primaries.Kate Dazzles in Erdem on Manchester's 'Shameless' Estate
April 23, 2013
Off to the right there was a river dark with cottonwoods and willows.The Trail Book
It was indeed that of a man whom she could not see, as he was hidden by the willows.The Dream
The ferryman emerged from the willows and stepped into his boat.Maid Marian
Thomas Love Peacock
She did not stop till she was in her Secret Place among the willows.The Very Small Person
Annie Hamilton Donnell
Most Willows show the stipules on the young luxuriant growths.Trees of the Northern United States
Austin C. Apgar
- any of numerous salicaceous trees and shrubs of the genus Salix, such as the weeping willow and osiers of N temperate regions, which have graceful flexible branches, flowers in catkins, and feathery seeds
- the whitish wood of certain of these trees
- something made of willow wood, such as a cricket or baseball bat
- a machine having a system of revolving spikes for opening and cleaning raw textile fibres
- a small town in S Alaska, about 113 km (70 miles) northwest of Anchorage: chosen as the site of the projected new state capital in 1976, a plan which never came to fruition. Pop: 1658 (2000)
Word Origin and History for willows
Old English welig, from Proto-Germanic *walg- (cf. Old Saxon wilgia, Middle Dutch wilghe, Dutch wilg), probably from PIE *wel- "to turn, roll," with derivatives referring to curved, enclosing objects. The change in form to -ow (14c.) paralleled that of bellow and fellow. The more typical Germanic word for the tree is represented by withy.