An example of lithe is the body of a gymnast or dancer.
Lithe birch branches.
A lithe ballet dancer.
Other Word Forms
Origin of lithe
- Middle English from Old English līthe flexible, mild
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English lithen, from Old English līþan (“to go, travel, sail, be bereft of"), from Proto-Germanic *līþanÄ… (“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.
- From Middle English lithen, from Old Norse hlýða (“to listen"), from Proto-Germanic *hliuþijanÄ… (“to listen"), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱlewe- (“to hear"). Cognate with Danish lytte (“to listen"). Related to Old English hlÄ“oþor (“noise, sound, voice, song, hearing"), Old English hlÅ«d (“loud, noisy, sounding, sonorous"). More at loud.
- 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").
- Origin uncertain; perhaps an alteration of lewth.