WILLOW, n. [L.] A tree of the genus Salix. There are several species of willow, the white, the black, the purple or red, the sallow, and the broad leaved willow, etc. A species called the weeping willow, has long and slender branches which droop and hang downward, the Salix Babylonica.
nounEtymology: Middle English wilghe, wilowe, from Old English welig; akin to Middle High German wilge willow Date: before 12th century 1. any of a genus (Salix of the family Salicaceae, the willow family) of trees and shrubs bearing catkins of apetalous flowers and including forms of value for wood, osiers, or tanbark and a few ornamentals 2. an object made of willow wood; especially a cricket bat • willowlikeadjective
Any shrub or tree of the genus Salix, family Salicaceae, native mostly to N temperate regions, and common in lowland and marshy areas. Willows are valued as ornamentals and for their shade, erosion control, and timber. Certain species yield salicin, the source of salicylic acid used in pain relievers. All species have alternate, usually narrow leaves, catkins, and seeds with long, silky hairs. Pussy willows, the male form of several shrubby species, have woolly catkins that form before the leaves appear and are considered one of the first signs of spring. Weeping willows have long drooping branches and leaves. Several species grow as small matted woody plants on the tundra.
n. 1 a tree or shrub of the genus Salix, growing usu. near water in temperate climates, with small flowers borne on catkins, and pliant branches yielding osiers and timber for cricket-bats, baskets, etc. 2 a cricket-bat. Phrases and idioms: willow grouse a common European grouse, Lagopus lagopus, with brown breeding plumage and white winter plumage. willow-herb any plant of the genus Epilobium etc., esp. one with leaves like a willow and pale purple flowers. willow-pattern a conventional design representing a Chinese scene, often with a willow tree, of blue on white porcelain, stoneware, or earthenware. willow-warbler (or -wren) a small woodland bird, Phylloscopus trochilus, with a tuneful song. Etymology: OE welig
Willow Wil"low, n. [OE. wilowe, wilwe, AS. wilig, welig; akin to OD. wilge, D. wilg, LG. wilge. Cf. Willy.] 1. (Bot.) Any tree or shrub of the genus Salix, including many species, most of which are characterized often used as an emblem of sorrow, desolation, or desertion. ``A wreath of willow to show my forsaken plight.'' --Sir W. Scott. Hence, a lover forsaken by, or having lost, the person beloved, is said to wear the willow. And I must wear the willow garland For him that's dead or false to me. --Campbell. 2. (Textile Manuf.) A machine in which cotton or wool is opened and cleansed by the action of long spikes projecting from a drum which revolves within a box studded with similar spikes; -- probably so called from having been originally a cylindrical cage made of willow rods, though some derive the term from winnow, as denoting the winnowing, or cleansing, action of the machine. Called also willy, twilly, twilly devil, and devil. Almond willow, Pussy willow, Weeping willow. (Bot.) See under Almond, Pussy, and Weeping. Willow biter (Zo["o]l.) the blue tit. [Prov. Eng.] Willow fly (Zo["o]l.), a greenish European stone fly (Chloroperla viridis); -- called also yellow Sally. Willow gall (Zo["o]l.), a conical, scaly gall produced on willows by the larva of a small dipterous fly (Cecidomyia strobiloides). Willow grouse (Zo["o]l.), the white ptarmigan. See ptarmigan. Willow lark (Zo["o]l.), the sedge warbler. [Prov. Eng.] Willow ptarmigan (Zo["o]l.) (a) The European reed bunting, or black-headed bunting. See under Reed. (b) A sparrow (Passer salicicolus) native of Asia, Africa, and Southern Europe. Willow tea, the prepared leaves of a species of willow largely grown in the neighborhood of Shanghai, extensively used by the poorer classes of Chinese as a substitute for tea. --McElrath. Willow thrush (Zo["o]l.), a variety of the veery, or Wilson's thrush. See Veery. Willow warbler (Zo["o]l.), a very small European warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus); -- called also bee bird, haybird, golden wren, pettychaps, sweet William, Tom Thumb, and willow wren.