Open main menu

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /laɪð/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪð

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English lithen, from Old English līþan (to go, travel, sail, be bereft of), from Proto-Germanic *līþaną (to go, leave, suffer), from Proto-Indo-European *leyt- (to go, depart, die). Cognate with North Frisian lyen, lije (to suffer), Dutch lijden (to suffer, dree, abide), German leiden (to suffer, brook, permit). See also lode, lead.

VerbEdit

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 2Edit

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 archaic German lind (mild), Icelandic linur (soft to the touch). Not attested in Gothic. Some sources also list Latin lenis (soft) and/or Latin lentus (supple) as possible cognates.

AdjectiveEdit

lithe (comparative lither, superlative lithest)

  1. (obsolete) Mild; calm.
    Synonyms: clement, gentle, mellow
    lithe weather
  2. Slim but not skinny.
    Synonyms: lithesome, lissome, swack; see also Thesaurus:slender
    lithe body
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter III, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384:
      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.
    • 1997, David Foster Wallace, “Getting Away From Already Pretty Much Being Away From It All”, in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Kindle edition, Little, Brown Book Group:
      The coaches are grim, tan, lithe-looking women, clearly twirlers once, on the far side of their glory now and very serious-looking, each with a clipboard and whistle.
  3. Capable of being easily bent; flexible.
    Synonyms: pliant, flexible, limber; see also Thesaurus:flexible
    the elephant’s lithe proboscis.
  4. Adaptable.
    • 2018 March 8, Eric Asimov, “Bubbles, With Joy: Pétillant Naturel’s Triumphant Return”, in The New York Times[1]:
      Yet the 2016 Éxilé rosé from Lise et Bertrand Jousset in the Loire Valley, made mostly of gamay, was yeasty let light and lithe, while the 2016 Indigeno from Ancarani in Emilia-Romagna, made of trebbiano, was taut and earthy.
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

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). Cognate with German lindern (to alleviate, ease, relieve).

VerbEdit

lithe

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To become calm.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To make soft or mild; soften; alleviate; mitigate; lessen; smooth; palliate.
    • Hamilton (1552)
      The holy spirit, by his grace, lithes and turns out heart to God.
    • T. Adams (1614)
      England.. hath now suppled, lithed and stretched their throats.
    • Rogers Naamen (1642)
      Give me also faith, Lord,.. to lithe, to form, and to accommodate my spirit and members.

Etymology 4Edit

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.

Alternative formsEdit

VerbEdit

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

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

Etymology 5Edit

Origin uncertain; perhaps an alteration of lewth.

NounEdit

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.

AnagramsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Old English lēoht (light, daylight; power of vision; luminary; world), from Proto-Germanic *leuhtą (light), from Proto-Indo-European *lewktom, from the root *lewk- (light).

NounEdit

lithe (plural lithes)

  1. Alternative form of light

ReferencesEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Old English liþ (limb, member, joint, point).

NounEdit

lithe (plural lithes)

  1. Alternative form of lyth

ReferencesEdit