Definition of willow in English:



  • 1A tree or shrub of temperate climates that typically has narrow leaves, bears catkins, and grows near water. Its pliant branches yield osiers for basketry, and its wood has various uses.

    • ‘And the tree, the sacred willow tree, the huluppu tree, is no more!’
    • ‘On her fifteenth birthday she had stupidly agreed to jump off a branch of a willow tree over a shallow ravine some ten feet below on a dare.’
    • ‘Another twist on this theme is his striking wall lamps, which are essentially steel rods with willow woven around them.’
    • ‘We chose to sit beneath a willow tree with its branches shielding us from view.’
    • ‘One of the remedies Hippocrates used for pain and fevers was powder made from the bark and leaves of the willow tree.’
    • ‘If you want tiger swallowtail butterflies, plant a willow tree.’
    • ‘It is said that Hippocrates (he of the Hippocratic Oath) brewed leaves from the willow tree to ease the pain of childbirth.’
    • ‘She wanted a whippy switch off a willow tree in the front yard.’
    • ‘He stopped when he saw her, her thread bare cotton skirt hiked up to her knees as her feet brushed the top of the water underneath a willow tree.’
    • ‘Daddy found this place: there was a willow tree with its branches dipping into the little river nearby.’
    • ‘Briony walked down the path leading to the old but beautiful whispering willow.’
    • ‘Closing her eyes, Sarah lay down on the grass near a tall willow tree.’
    • ‘Ford stood next to a willow tree, the thin branches falling around him like a curtain.’
    • ‘Some 2000 years ago the Greeks used the bark and leaves of the willow tree (which contains salicylic acid) to relieve pain and fever.’
    • ‘The walls of the maze are planted with willow, and there are little jokes throughout, such as a skeleton reclining on a bench and a small cricket pavilion.’
    • ‘In her madness, Ophelia climbs a willow tree to hang garlands from its branches.’
    • ‘The study area is subalpine tundra, and primary vegetation is shrubby willow.’
    • ‘The stream is well overgrown with willow and more.’
    • ‘To his luck he saw the light on in her room and the window open, behind the thick leaves from the willow tree.’
    • ‘A wiggling larva on a leaf of a willow tree catches her eye and is quickly consumed.’
  • 2A machine with revolving spikes used for cleaning cotton, wool, or other fibers.

    • ‘The Japanese willow machine made good money for the domestic economy.’


Old English welig, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wilg.