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Alternative forms[edit]

  • ywis (13th-17th centuries)
  • iwys (14th-16th centuries)


From Middle English iwis, ywis ‎(certain, sure), from Old English ġewiss ‎(certain, sure), from Proto-Germanic *gawissaz ‎(known, certain, sure), from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- ‎(to know). Cognate with Dutch gewis ‎(sure), German gewiss ‎(certain), Danish vis ‎(sure). More at wit, wis.


iwis ‎(not comparable)

  1. (poetic, archaic) Certainly, surely, indeed.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Bk.V:
      Thou art welcome iwys, for thou sekyst aftir sorow!
    • 1842, Thomas Macaulay, Horatius:
      Iwis, in all the Senate / There was no heart so bold [].
    • 1890, James Russell Lowell, Poetical Works:
      God vanished long ago, iwis, A mere subjective synthesis