Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several willows having long rodlike twigs used in basketry, especially the Eurasian Salix viminalis and S. purpurea.
  • n. A twig of one of these trees.
  • n. Any of various similar or related trees.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A kind of willow, Salix viminalis, growing in wet places in Europe and Asia, and introduced into North America. It is considered the best of the willows for basket work. The name is sometimes given to any kind of willow.
  • n. One of the long, pliable twigs of this plant, or of other similar plants.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of willow (Salix viminalis) growing in wet places in Europe and Asia, and introduced into North America. It is considered the best of the willows for basket work. The name is sometimes given to any kind of willow.
  • n. One of the long, pliable twigs of this plant, or of other similar plants.
  • adj. Made of osiers; composed of, or containing, osiers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of various species of willow (Salix) whose tough flexible branches are employed for wickerwork, withes, etc.
  • Made or consisting of willow or other shoots or twigs.
  • n. Either the round-leaved dogwood, Cornus circinata, or the alternate-leaved dogwood, C. alternifolia, the twigs of which are green.
  • n. Leucothoe racemosa, an ornamental shrub of the eastern United States with racemes of waxy white flowers borne on the under side of recurved racemes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. flexible twig of a willow tree
  • n. any of various willows having pliable twigs used in basketry and furniture

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English oser and Old French osier, both from Medieval Latin osera, osiera.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French osier ("basket willow, withy"), from Old French osiere (compare Medieval Latin auseria ("willow-bed")), from Frankish *halster (compare Low German Halster, Hilster ("bay willow")). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The purple osier is already set with green points from which are to emerge fluffy catkins, and the sallow is preparing its gold and silver blossoms which are to be the early palm, dripping with honey and humming with insects.

    The Spring of Joy: A Little Book of Healing

  • They are small islands planted entirely with willows, and are called osier-holts.

    Miscellanea

  • On the arrival of the news of his second ejectment, he turned to his wife and said: "Wife, get the creels ready again;" that is, the osier baskets in which he had carried his children in his first remove.

    Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers

  • It is a place like the court; but instead of pales there are hurdles, which are made of sticks that will bend, such as osier twigs; and they are twisted and made very fast, so that nothing can creep in, and nothing can get out.

    Harry's Ladder to Learning

  • Malia wore a dress from Anthropologie the 'unconditional osier dress', while Sasha wore a 'Clarissa jacquard dress' from BB Dakota.

    Michelle Obama's Year in Style

  • To replace a defunct rhododendron I planted a small red osier dogwood and on the hot sunny side of the house, a canadice grape vine that promises prolific fruit suitable for jams and jelly.

    Elizabeth Grossman: Supper on a Sunday of Hands in the Dirt

  • At the top of the ridge he built a larger gazebo, a curved shape that he wove, basketlike, out of saplings and osier so that its curved lines seemed to grow out of the surrounding landscape.

    Louisa May Alcott

  • It has mats of water lily Nymphaea alba and bushes of goat willow Salix caprea, grey willow S. cinerea and purple osier S. purpurea.

    Srebarna Nature Reserve, Bulgaria

  • I also gathered silk grass, hemp, and yellow osier bark to twine and plait myself a carry sack, decorating it with red thread Mazais gave me after I made a lotion of marsh mallow roots to soothe her sore hands.

    Wildfire

  • I worked in the garden, dividing and transplanting roots, sowing seeds, planting slips of red osier to make a living fence, for willow is quick to root.

    Wildfire

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