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Shortened from William or, less often, from other given names beginning with Wil-, such as Wilfred or Willard.


Proper noun[edit]


  1. A male given name, a shortening of William; also used as a formal given name.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 136”, in Shake-speares Sonnets. [], London: By G[eorge] Eld for T[homas] T[horpe] and are to be sold by William Aspley, →OCLC:
      Make but my name thy love, and love that still, / And then thou lov'st me, - for my name is Will.
    • 1998, Nick Hornby, About A Boy, Victor Gollancz, published 1998, →ISBN, page 208:
      One of his neighbours opposite, a nice old guy with a stoop and a horrible little Yorkshire terrier, called him Bill - always had done and presumably always would, right up till the day he died. It actually irritated Will, who was not, he felt, by any stretch of the imagination, a Bill. Bill wouldn't smoke spliffs and listen to Nirvana. So why had he allowed this misapprehension to continue? Why hadn't he just said, four years ago, "Actually my name is Will"?
  2. A surname originating as a patronymic.

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Related terms[edit]



Will (plural Wills)

  1. (American football) A weak-side linebacker.
    • 1997, F Henderson, M Olson, Football's West Coast Offense, page 7:
      Will linebacker drops to turn-in, QB dropping dumps the ball off to HB.
    • 2000, American Football Coaches Association, Defensive Football Strategies, page 25:
      Our Will linebacker, because he is away from the formation or to the split end, should be a great pursuit man and pass defender.
      Will covers the back side hook zone on the weak side.

See also[edit]