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)
- (poetic, archaic) Certainly, surely, indeed.
1485 July 31, Thomas Malory, “(please specify the chapter)”, in [Le Morte Darthur], (please specify the book number), [London]: Enprynted and fynysshed in thabbey Westmestre [by William Caxton], OCLC 71490786; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur by Syr Thomas Malory; the Original Edition of William Caxton Now Reprinted and Edited with an Introduction and Glossary by H. Oskar Sommer, Ph.D.; with an Essay on Malory’s Prose Style by Andrew Lang, London: Published by David Nutt, in the Strand, 1889, OCLC 890162034:, 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