willy-nilly definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- whether one wishes it or not; willingly or unwillingly
- in a disordered way; helter-skelter
Origin: contr. ; from will I, nill I: see will and amp; nill
that is or happens whether one wishes it or not
willy-nilly definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Whether desired or not: After her boss fell sick, she willy-nilly found herself directing the project.
- Without order or plan; haphazardly.
- Being or occurring whether desired or not: willy-nilly cooperation.
- Disordered; haphazard: willy-nilly zoning laws.
Origin: Alteration of will ye (or he), nill ye (or he), be you (or he) willing, be you (or he) unwilling.