wuthering (adj.)
"making a sullen roar" (as the wind does), Northern England dialectal variant of Scottish and dialectal whithering "rushing, whizzing, blustering," from a verb whither (late 14c.) which was used in reference to gusts of wind and coughing fit...
wussy (n.)
1960s, probably an alteration of pussy (n.2). DAS suggests shortened from hypothetical pussy-wussy, reduplicated form of pussy (n.1)....
wuss (n.)
1982, abbreviated from wussy.Mike Damone: You are a wuss: part wimp, and part pussy["Fast Times at Ridgemont High" script, 1982]...
wyvern (n.)
c.1600, formed (with excrescent -n) from Middle English wyver (c.1300), from Anglo-French wivre, from Old North French form of Old French guivre "snake," from Latin vipera "viper" (see viper). In heraldry, a winged dragon with eagle's feet a...
wurst (n.)
German sausage, 1855, from German Wurst, from Old High German wurst "sausage," probably etymologically "mixture," from Proto-Germanic *wursti-, from PIE *wers- (1) "to confuse, mix up" (see war (n.))....
wysiwyg
1982, computer programmer's acronym from what you see is what you get....
Wurlitzer (n.)
type of musical instrument (originally a player piano popular in silent movie theaters, later a type of jukebox), 1925, named for The Wurlitzer Company, founded near Cincinnati, Ohio, 1856 by Rudolph Wurlitzer (1831-1914), Saxon immigrant to...
wyrd
see weird....
wunderkind (n.)
child prodigy (especially in music), 1883 in English (earlier as a German word in German contexts), from German Wunderkind, literally "wonder-child."...
Wyoming
region in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, from Munsee Delaware (Algonquian) chwewamink "at the big river flat," from /xw-/ "big" + /-e:wam-/ "river flat" + /-enk/ "place." Popularized by 1809 poem "Gertrude of Wyoming," set amid wars between I...
wryneck (n.)
1580s, from wry + neck (n.). The bird so called from the singular manner in which is can twist the neck....
wryly (adv.)
1570s, from wry + -ly (2)....
wynn (n.)
runic letter in Old English and early Middle English, representing "w," Old English wyn, so called for being the first letter of that word, which literally means "delight, pleasure" (see Venus)....
wych
see witch hazel....
wry (adj.)
1520s, "distorted, somewhat twisted to one side," from obsolete verb wry "to contort, to twist or turn," from Old English wrigian "to turn, bend, move, go," from Proto-Germanic *wrig- (cognates: Old Frisian wrigia "to bend," Middle Low Germa...
wrought (adj.)
mid-13c., from past participle of Middle English werken (see work (v.)). Wrought iron (1703) is that which is malleable and has been brought into some form....
wyandotte (n.)
type of hen, 1884, from Wyandot, name of an Iroquoian people (1749) and their language, from French Ouendat, perhaps from Huron wendat "forest" or yandata "village," or from the people's self-designation wedat, which is perhaps a shortening...
writ (n.)
Old English writ "something written, piece of writing," from the past participle stem of writan (see write). Used of legal documents or instruments since at least 1121....
wroth (adj.)
Old English wra "angry" (literally "tormented, twisted"), from Proto-Germanic *wraith- (cognates: Old Frisian wreth "evil," Old Saxon wred, Middle Dutch wret, Dutch wreed "cruel," Old High German reid, Old Norse reir "angry, offended"), from...
wrestling (n.)
Old English wrstlung, "sport of grappling and throwing," verbal noun from wrestle (v.). From c.1300 as "action of wrestling, a wrestling match." Figurative use from c.1200....
wrongly (adv.)
c.1300, from wrong (adj.) + -ly (2)....
wrist (n.)
Old English wrist, from Proto-Germanic *wristiz (cognates: Old Norse rist "instep," Old Frisian wrist, Middle Dutch wrist, German Rist "back of the hand, instep"), from Proto-Germanic *wreik- "to turn" (see wry). The notion is "the turning j...
wrestler (n.)
late Old English, agent noun from wrestle (v.)....
wrongful (adj.)
early 14c., from wrong (n.) + -ful. Related: Wrongfully. Middle English also had adjective wrongous....
wrestle (v.)
Old English *wrstlian, frequentative of wrstan "to wrest" (see wrest). Compare North Frisian wrassele, Middle Low German worstelen. Figurative sense is recorded from early 13c. Related: Wrestled; wrestling....
wrinkly (adj.)
early 15c. (in reference to the penis), from wrinkle (n.) + -y (2). As teen slang noun for "old person," from 1972 ("old" being relative; a British reference from 1982 applies it to people in their 40s)....
wrongdoing (n.)
also wrong-doing, late 15c., from wrong (n.) + doing....
wrinkle (v.)
early 15c. (transitive), probably from stem of Old English gewrinclod "wrinkled, crooked, winding," past participle of gewrinclian "to wind, crease," from perfective prefix ge- + -wrinclian "to wind," from Proto-Germanic *wrankjan (see wrenc...
wrest (v.)
Old English wrstan "to twist, wrench," from Proto-Germanic *wraistjan (source of Old Norse reista "to bend, twist"), from PIE *wreik- "to turn" (see wry). Meaning "to pull, detach" (something) is recorded from c.1300. Meaning "to take by for...
wrong (adj.)wrong (v.)
late Old English, "twisted, crooked, wry," from Old Norse rangr, earlier *wrangr "crooked, wry, wrong," from Proto-Germanic *wrang- (cognates: Danish vrang "crooked, wrong," Middle Dutch wranc, Dutch wrang "sour, bitter," literally "that whi...
wringer (n.)
"device for squeezing water from clothes," 1799, agent noun from wring (v.). (Earlier it meant "extortioner," c.1300.) Figurative phrase to put (someone) through the wringer first recorded 1942, American English....
wrench (v.)
Old English wrencan "to twist," from Proto-Germanic *wrankjan (cognates: Old High German renken, German renken "to twist, wrench," Old English wringan "to wring"), from PIE *wreng- "to turn" (cognates: Sanskrit vrnakti "turns, twists," Lithu...
writing (n.)
Old English writing "action of forming letters and characters," verbal noun from write (v.). From c.1200 as "text; body of poetry, narrative, etc. in written form; written material." From c.1300 as "a particular text;" mid-14c. as "act of co...
wring (v.)
Old English wringan "press, strain, wring, twist" (class III strong verb; past tense wrang, past participle wrungen), from Proto-Germanic *wreng- (cognates: Old English wringen "to wring, press out," Old Frisian wringa, Middle Dutch wringhen...
wren (n.)
small, migratory singing bird, Old English wrenna, metathesis variation of earlier werna, a Germanic word of uncertain origin. Compare Icelandic rindill, Old High German wrendo, wrendilo "wren." The bird's name in other languages usually den...
writhe (v.)
Old English wrian (transitive) "to twist or bend," earlier "to bind or fetter," from Proto-Germanic *writhanan (cognates: North Frisian wrial, Old High German ridan, Old Norse ria, Middle Swedish vria, Middle Danish vride), from PIE *wreit-...
wrecker (n.)
1804, in reference to those who salvage cargos from wrecked ships, from wreck (n.). In Britain often with a overtones of "one who causes a shipwreck in order to plunder it" (1820); but in 19c. Bahamas and the Florida Keys it could be a legal...
wright (n.)
Old English wryhta, wrihta (Northumbrian wyrchta, Kentish werhta) "worker," variant of earlier wyhrta, from wyrcan "to work" (see work (v.)). Now usually in combinations (wheelwright, playwright, etc.) or as a surname. Common West Germanic;...
wriggle (v.)
late 15c., from Middle Low German wrigglen "to wriggle," from Proto-Germanic *wreik- "to turn" (see wry). Related to Old English wrigian "to turn, incline, go forward."...
writer (n.)
Old English writere "one who can write, clerk; one who produces books or literary compositions," agent noun from writan (see write (v.)). Meaning "sign-painter" is from 1837. Writer's cramp attested by 1843; writer's block by 1950....
wreckage (n.)
1814, "fact of being wrecked," from wreck (v.) + -age. Meaning "remains of a wrecked thing" is from 1832....
write-up (n.)
1882, from the verbal phrase; see write (v.) + up (adv.)....
wreck (n.)
early 13c., "goods cast ashore after a shipwreck, flotsam," from Anglo-French wrec, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse *wrek "wreck, flotsam" (cognates: Norwegian, Icelandic rek), related to reka "to drive, push," from Proto-German...
wretched (adj.)
c.1200, wrecched, an irregular formation from wrecche "wretch" (see wretch). Also see wicked. Related: Wretchedly; wretchedness....
wretch (n.)
Old English wrecca "wretch, stranger, exile," from Proto-Germanic *wrakjon "pursuer; one pursued" (cognates: Old Saxon wrekkio, Old High German reckeo "a banished person, exile," German recke "renowned warrior, hero"), related to Old English...
write (v.)
Old English writan "to score, outline, draw the figure of," later "to set down in writing" (class I strong verb; past tense wrat, past participle writen), from Proto-Germanic *writan "tear, scratch" (cognates: Old Frisian writa "to write," O...
wreathe (v.)
1520s (transitive), a back-formation from wrethen, Middle English past participle of writhe. Intransitive sense from 1580s. Related: Wreathed; wreathing....
wrangle (v.)
late 14c., from Low German wrangeln "to dispute, to wrestle," related to Middle Low German wringen, from Proto-Germanic *wrang-, from PIE *wrengh-, nasalized variant of *wergh- "to turn" (see wring). Meaning "take charge of horses" is by 189...
wraith (n.)
1510s, "ghost," Scottish, of uncertain origin. Weekley and Century Dictionary suggest Old Norse vorr "guardian" in the sense of "guardian angel." Klein points to Gaelic and Irish arrach "specter, apparition."...
wrack (n.)
late 14c., "wrecked ship, shipwreck," probably from Middle Dutch wrak "wreck," from Proto-Germanic *wrakaz-, from root *wreg- "to push, shove drive" (see wreak). The root sense perhaps is "that which is cast ashore." Sense perhaps influenced...