- 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 līþan (“to go, travel, sail, be bereft of”), from Proto-Germanic *līþaną (“to go, leave, suffer”), from Proto-Indo-European *leit- (“to go, depart, die”). Cognate with North Frisian lyen, lye (“to suffer”), Dutch lijden (“to suffer, dree, abide”), German leiden (“to suffer, brook, permit”). See also lode, lead.
(comparative lither, superlative lithest)
From Middle English, from Old English līþe (“gentle, mild”), from Proto-Germanic *linþiz, from Proto-Indo-European *lento. Akin to Danish and German lind (“mild”), Icelandic linr (“soft to the touch”). Not attested in Gothic nor Old Norse. Some sources list also Latin lenis (“soft”), others Latin lentus (“supple”).
From Middle English lithen, from Old English līþian, līþiġian (“to soften, calm, mitigate, assuage, appease, be mild”), from Proto-Germanic *linþēną, *lenþēną (“to soften”), from Proto-Indo-European *lento- (“bendsome, resilient”).
(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 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.
- (Scotland) Shelter.
- lieth, Theil
Origin uncertain; perhaps an alteration of lewth.