• (British) IPA: /ˈwɪl.əʊ/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈwɪloʊ/


  1. Any of various deciduous trees or shrubs in the genus Salix, in the willow family Salicaceae, found primarily on moist soils in cooler zones in the northern hemisphere.
    • 1912 January, Zane Grey, chapter 8, in Riders of the Purple Sage: A Novel, New York, N.Y.; London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, OCLC 6868219 ↗:
      […] and through the middle of this forest, from wall to wall, ran a winding line of brilliant green which marked the course of cottonwoods and willows.
  2. The wood of these trees.
  3. (cricket, colloquial) A cricket bat.
  4. (baseball, slang, 1800s) The baseball bat.
  5. A rotating spiked drum used to open and clean cotton heads.
Synonyms Translations Verb

willow (willows, present participle willowing; past and past participle willowed)

  1. (transitive) To open and cleanse (cotton, flax, wool, etc.) by means of a willow.
  2. (intransitive) To form a shape or move in a way similar to the long, slender branches of a willow.
    • 1928, Robert Byron, The Station: Travels to the Holy Mountain of Greece, Chapter 12,
      Willowing over the rough cobbles of the little pier stepped a thin, bent figure, adorned with a silver nannygoat’s beard and bobbling eyes interrupted by the rim of a pair of pince-nez.
    • 1930, Talbot Mundy, Black Light, Chapter 7,
      Joe’s impulse was to sketch her, with her shadow willowing beyond her on the mouse-gray paving-stone; but his left fist, obeying instinct, remained clenched behind his back […]
    • 1985, Martin Booth, Hiroshima Joe, New York: Picador, p. 394,
      It was floating a foot under the surface. The eyes were holes. The mouth was a slit cavern of darkness. The hair willowed around the scalp.
    • 2013, Dean Koontz, Wilderness, Bantam Books,
      The draft-drawn smoke willowed down through the hole and across my face, but I didn’t worry about coughing or sneezing.

Proper noun
  1. A female given name of modern usage.
    • 1992 Martha Grimes, The End of the Pier, page 132:
      Before he died her father had run a nursery just outside the town. He loved trees so much he'd even named his two daughters and one son after them: Willow, Ashley and Oak.
  2. A census-designated place in Alaska
  3. A town in Oklahoma
  4. A town in Wisconsin

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