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Webster 1913 Edition


Lithe

Lithe

(līth)
,
Verb.
T.
&
I.
[Icel
hlȳða
. See
Listen
.]
To listen or listen to; to hearken to.
[Obs.]
P. Plowman.

Lithe

,
Adj.
[AS.
līðe
, for
linðe
tender, mild, gentle; akin to G.
lind
,
gelind
, OHG.
lindi
, Icel.
linr
, L.
lenis
soft, mild,
lentus
flexible, and AS.
linnan
to yield. Cf.
Lenient
.]
1.
Mild; calm;
as,
lithe
weather
.
[Obs.]
2.
Capable of being easily bent; pliant; flexible; limber;
as, the elephant’s
lithe
proboscis
.
Milton.

Syn. – lithesome.

Lithe

,
Verb.
T.
[AS.
līðian
. See
Lithe
,
Adj.
]
To smooth; to soften; to palliate.
[Obs.]

Webster 1828 Edition


Lithe

LITHE

,
Adj.
That may be easily bent; pliant; flexible; limber; as the elephant's lithe proboscis.

LITHE

, v.t.
1.
To smooth; to soften; to palliate. Obs.
2.
To listen. Obs.

Definition 2022


lithe

lithe

See also: liþe and -lithe

English

Verb

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

From Middle English lithe, from Old English līþe (gentle, mild), from Proto-Germanic *linþaz, from Proto-Indo-European *lentos. Akin to Saterland Frisian lied (thin, skinny, gaunt), Danish and German lind (mild), Icelandic linur (soft to the touch). Not attested in Gothic nor Old Norse. Some sources list also Latin lenis (soft), others Latin lentus (supple).

Adjective

lithe (comparative lither, superlative lithest)

  1. (obsolete) Mild; calm.
    lithe weather
  2. slim but not skinny
    lithe body
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, Nobody, chapter III:
      She was frankly disappointed. For some reason she had thought to discover a burglar of one or another accepted type—either a dashing cracksman in full-blown evening dress, lithe, polished, pantherish, or a common yegg, a red-eyed, unshaven burly brute in the rags and tatters of a tramp.
  3. Capable of being easily bent; pliant; flexible; limber
    the elephant’s lithe proboscis.
Synonyms
Derived terms
Related terms
Translations

Etymology 3

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

Verb

lithe

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

Etymology 4

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

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

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

Etymology 5

Origin uncertain; perhaps an alteration of lewth.

Noun

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.

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