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Old EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From Proto-Germanic *wiljaną, from Proto-Indo-European *welh₁-. Cognate with Old Frisian willa (West Frisian wolle), Old Saxon willian, Dutch willen, Old Norse vilja (Danish ville, Swedish vilja), Gothic 𐍅𐌹𐌻𐌾𐌰𐌽 (wiljan). The alternative Proto-Germanic form *waljaną gave Old High German wollen (German wollen).

The Proto-Indo-European root is also the source of Latin velle, Proto-Slavic *velěti (whence Old Church Slavonic велѣти (velěti), Russian велеть (veletʹ)), Lithuanian vélmi.




  1. to want
    Mīn dohtor wile bēon lǣċe.
    My daughter wants to be a doctor.
    Þū woldest wiþ mē sprecan?
    You wanted to speak with me?
    Hwæt wilt þū mā æt mē?
    What more do you want from me?
  2. to intend
    wolde þæt dōn!
    I meant to do that!
    Ne breġd þū nǣfre þīn sweord būtan þū his notian wille.
    Never draw your sword unless you intend to use it.
  3. to be willing
  4. used to express habitual behavior
  5. used to express futurity
  6. to want or intend to go (to or from somewhere)



  • Middle English: willen, wullen, wollen