Definition of widdershins in English:


(also withershins)


  • In a direction contrary to the sun's course, considered as unlucky; counterclockwise.

    • ‘‘My love then and his bonny ship turn'd withershins about’ - sing along now!’
    • ‘‘Watch and learn,’ his friend replies enigmatically, before changing the clockwise finger-spin to widdershins.’
    • ‘He flew three times widdershins round the garden before stealing the gift of speech from Sister Sun, then escaped, laughing.’
    • ‘These are all created by either a single point of applied pressure or a combination of pressure and motion (back and forwards within track, clockwise, withershins).’
    • ‘He waved the Mistletoe three time widdershins around his head, said the sacred words and did the dance that only Witches and Druids know.’
    • ‘There is something a bit skewed, a bit loopy about Lonergan people who wend their way through life widdershins, and Lonergan talk that is really front-stoop philosophizing.’
    • ‘They started to move widdershins, or counter-clockwise.’
    • ‘A halfhearted pit had formed, swirling widdershins in front of the stage.’
    • ‘Lets face it; I was not trapped inside a rickety old church with the dog running widdershins about it so I think I am safe.’
    • ‘She didn't waken as Ander scooped her up in his arms, carried her down the wide staircase, then turned fully withershins so that he was facing the ship's forward quarters.’


Early 16th century: from Middle Low German weddersins, from Middle High German widersinnes, from wider ‘against’ + sin ‘direction’; the second element was associated with Scots sin ‘sun’.