lithe

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English lithen, from Old English līþan (to go, travel, sail, be bereft of), from Proto-Germanic *līþaną (to go, leave, suffer), from Proto-Indo-European *leit- (to go, depart, die). Cognate with North Frisian lyen, lye (to suffer), Dutch lijden (to suffer, dree, abide), German leiden (to suffer, brook, permit). See also lode, lead.

Verb[edit]

lithe (third-person singular simple present lithes, present participle lithing, simple past lithed or lode, past participle lithed or lidden)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To go.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English lithe, from Old English līþe (gentle, mild), from Proto-Germanic *linþiz, from Proto-Indo-European *lento. Akin to Danish and German lind (mild), Icelandic linr (soft to the touch). Not attested in Gothic nor Old Norse. Some sources list also Latin lenis (soft), others Latin lentus (supple).

Adjective[edit]

lithe (comparative lither, superlative lithest)

  1. (obsolete) Mild; calm.
    lithe weather
  2. slim but not skinny
    A lithe body
  3. Capable of being easily bent; pliant; flexible; limber
    the elephant’s lithe proboscis.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English lithen, from Old English līþian, līþiġian (to soften, calm, mitigate, assuage, appease, be mild), from Proto-Germanic *linþēną, *lenþēną (to soften), from Proto-Indo-European *lento- (bendsome, resilient).

Verb[edit]

lithe

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To become calm.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To make soft or mild; soften; alleviate; mitigate; lessen; smooth; palliate.

Etymology 4[edit]

From Middle English lithen, from Old Norse hlýða (to listen), from Proto-Germanic *hliuþijaną (to listen), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱlewe- (to hear). Cognate with Danish lytte (to listen). Related to Old English hlēoþor (noise, sound, voice, song, hearing), Old English hlūd (loud, noisy, sounding, sonorous). More at loud.

Verb[edit]

lithe (third-person singular simple present lithes, present participle lithing, simple past and past participle lithed)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To give ear; attend; listen.
  2. (transitive) To listen to.

Etymology 5[edit]

Origin uncertain; perhaps an alteration of lewth.

Noun[edit]

lithe (plural lithes)

  1. (Scotland) Shelter.
    • 1932, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song:
      So Cospatric got him the Pict folk to build a strong castle there in the lithe of the hills, with the Grampians dark and bleak behind it, and he had the Den drained and he married a Pict lady and got on her bairns and he lived there till he died.

Anagrams[edit]