twire

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English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English twiren (to peep out, pry about, twinkle, glance, gleam), cognate with Middle High German zwieren (to spy), Bavarian zwiren, zwieren (to spy, glance). Perhaps related to Old English twinclian (to twinkle). More at twinkle.

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

twire (third-person singular simple present twires, present participle twiring, simple past and past participle twired)

  1. (intransitive) To glance shyly or slyly; look askance; make eyes; leer; peer; pry.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher
      I saw the wench that twired and twinkled at thee.
    • Ben Jonson
      Which maids will twire 'tween their fingers.
  2. (intransitive) To twinkle; sparkle; wink.
    • Shakespeare
      When sparkling stars twire not.

Noun[edit]

twire (plural twires)

  1. A sly glance; a leer.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English *twir, *twirn, from Old English *twirn, *tweorn (twine, thread), from Proto-Germanic *twiznaz (thread), from Proto-Indo-European *duwo- (two). Cognate with Dutch tweern (thread), German Zwirn (thread, twine), Old English twīn (twine). More at twine.

Noun[edit]

twire (plural twires)

  1. A twisted filament; a thread.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of John Locke to this entry?)

Etymology 3[edit]

Perhaps from a dialectal form of *twere, from Middle English *tweren, from Old English þweran (to stir) (found in compound āþweran (to agitate, stir)), from Proto-Germanic *þweraną (to stir), from Proto-Indo-European *twer- (to turn, twirl, swirl, move). Cognate with Bavarian zweren (to stir). Compare twirk, twirl.

Verb[edit]

twire (third-person singular simple present twires, present participle twiring, simple past and past participle twired)

  1. (transitive) To twist; twirl.