- The definition of lithe is a graceful, flexible body.
An example of lithe is the body of a gymnast or dancer.
Origin of litheMiddle English ; from Old English lithe, soft, mild, akin to Old High German lindi ; from Indo-European base an unverified form lento-, flexible, bendable from source linden, Classical Latin lentus, pliant, flexible
- Readily bent; supple: lithe birch branches.
- Marked by effortless grace: a lithe ballet dancer.
Origin of litheMiddle English, from Old English līthe, flexible, mild.
(third-person singular simple present lithes, present participle lithing, simple past lithed or lode, past participle lithed or lidden)
- (intransitive, obsolete) To go.
From Middle English lithen, from Old English lÄ«Ã¾an (â€œto go, travel, sail, be bereft ofâ€), from Proto-Germanic *lÄ«Ã¾anÄ… (â€œto go, leave, sufferâ€), from Proto-Indo-European *leit- (â€œto go, depart, dieâ€). Cognate with North Frisian lyen, lye (â€œto sufferâ€), Dutch lijden (â€œto suffer, dree, abideâ€), German leiden (â€œto suffer, brook, permitâ€). See also lode, lead.
(comparative lither, superlative lithest)
From Middle English, from Old English lÄ«Ã¾e (â€œgentle, mildâ€), from Proto-Germanic *linÃ¾iz, from Proto-Indo-European *lento. Akin to Danish and German lind (â€œmildâ€), Icelandic linr (â€œsoft to the touchâ€). Not attested in Gothic nor Old Norse. Some sources list also Latin lenis (â€œsoftâ€), others Latin lentus (â€œsuppleâ€).
From Middle English lithen, from Old English lÄ«Ã¾ian, lÄ«Ã¾iÄ¡ian (â€œto soften, calm, mitigate, assuage, appease, be mildâ€), from Proto-Germanic *linÃ¾Ä“nÄ…, *lenÃ¾Ä“nÄ… (â€œto softenâ€), from Proto-Indo-European *lento- (â€œbendsome, resilientâ€).
(third-person singular simple present lithes, present participle lithing, simple past and past participle lithed)
- To listen to.
From Middle English lithen, from Old Norse hlÃ½Ã°a (â€œto listenâ€), from Proto-Germanic *hliuÃ¾ijanÄ… (â€œto listenâ€), from Proto-Indo-European *á¸±lewe- (â€œto hearâ€). Cognate with Danish lytte (â€œto listenâ€). Related to Old English hlÄ“oÃ¾or (â€œnoise, sound, voice, song, hearingâ€), Old English hlÅ«d (â€œloud, noisy, sounding, sonorousâ€). More at loud.
- (Scotland) Shelter.
Origin uncertain; perhaps an alteration of lewth.