- The definition of a wile is a trick or seducing behavior.
An example of a wile is a joke or trick to deceive someone.
- Wile is defined as to trick or to spend time leisurely.
- An example of wile is to cause someone to fall into a trap.
- An example of wile is to lay in the backyard all day sipping lemonade.
- a sly trick; deceitful artifice; stratagem
- a beguiling or coquettish trick: usually used in pl.
- Now Rare craftiness; guile
Origin of wileMiddle English from Late Old English wil from Old English wigle, magic, divination, akin to wiglian, to take auspices, wicce, witch
transitive verbwiled, wil′ing
Origin of wileby confusion with while
- A stratagem or trick intended to deceive or ensnare.
- A disarming or seductive manner, device, or procedure: the wiles of a skilled negotiator.
transitive verbwiled, wil·ing, wiles
- To influence or lead by means of wiles; entice: “Could the Erl-king's Daughter have revealed herself to me … she might have wiled me by the hand into the dimmest forests upon earth” ( Thomas De Quincey )
- To pass (time) agreeably: wile away a Sunday afternoon.
Origin of wileMiddle English wil from Old North French from Old Norse vēl trick or of Low German origin V., sense 2, influenced by while
(third-person singular simple present wiles, present participle wiling, simple past and past participle wiled)
The phrase meaning to pass time idly is while away. We can trace the meaning in an adjectival sense for while back to Old English, hwÄ«len "” passing, transitory. We also see it in the whilend "” temporary, transitory. But since wile away happens so often, it is now included in many dictionaries. As can be seen above, wile is a noun"”meaning (1) trickery, deception or (2) a disarming or seductive manner "” and as a verb meaning to entice or lure. None of these meanings has anything to do with idly passing time, so wile away doesn't make logical sense.
From Middle English wile, wyle, from Old English wÄ«l (“wile, trick") and wiÄ¡le (“divination"), from Proto-Germanic *wÄ«lÄ… (“craft, deceit") (from Proto-Indo-European *wei- (“to turn, bend")) and Proto-Germanic *wigulÄ…, *wihulÄ… (“prophecy") (from Proto-Indo-European *weik- (“to consecrate, hallow, make holy")). Cognate with Icelandic vÃ©l, vÃ¦l (“artifice, craft, device, fraud, trick").
- A surname.
- (rare) A male given name transferred from the surname.