Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Widdy noun [ Confer Withy .] A rope or halter made of flexible twigs, or withes, as of birch. [ Scot.]

Wide (wīd) adjective [ Compar. Wider (-ẽr); superl. Widest .] [ Middle English wid , wyde , Anglo-Saxon wīd ; akin to OFries. & Old Saxon wīd , Dutch wijd , German weit , Old High German wīt , Icelandic vīðr , Swedish & Danish vid ; of uncertain origin.]
1. Having considerable distance or extent between the sides; spacious across; much extended in a direction at right angles to that of length; not narrow; broad; as, wide cloth; a wide table; a wide highway; a wide bed; a wide hall or entry.

The chambers and the stables weren wyde .
Chaucer.

Wide is the gate . . . that leadeth to destruction.
Matt. vii. 18.

2. Having a great extent every way; extended; spacious; broad; vast; extensive; as, a wide plain; the wide ocean; a wide difference. "This wyde world." Chaucer.

For sceptered cynics earth were far too wide a den.
Byron.

When the wide bloom, on earth that lies,
Seems of a brighter world than ours.
Bryant.

3. Of large scope; comprehensive; liberal; broad; as, wide views; a wide understanding.

Men of strongest head and widest culture.
M. Arnold.

4. Of a certain measure between the sides; measuring in a direction at right angles to that of length; as, a table three feet wide .

5. Remote; distant; far.

The contrary being so wide from the truth of Scripture and the attributes of God.
Hammond.

6. Far from truth, from propriety, from necessity, or the like. "Our wide expositors." Milton.

It is far wide that the people have such judgments.
Latimer.

How wide is all this long pretense !
Herbert.

7. On one side or the other of the mark; too far side-wise from the mark, the wicket, the batsman, etc.

Surely he shoots wide on the bow hand.
Spenser.

I was but two bows wide .
Massinger.

8. (Phon.) Made, as a vowel, with a less tense, and more open and relaxed, condition of the mouth organs; -- opposed to primary as used by Mr. Bell, and to narrow as used by Mr. Sweet. The effect, as explained by Mr. Bell, is due to the relaxation or tension of the pharynx; as explained by Mr. Sweet and others, it is due to the action of the tongue. The wide of ē (ēve) is ĭ (ĭll); of ā (āte) is ĕ (ĕnd), etc. See Guide to Pronunciation , § 13-15.

» Wide is often prefixed to words, esp. to participles and participial adjectives, to form self-explaining compounds; as, wide - beaming, wide -branched, wide -chopped, wide -echoing, wide -extended, wide -mouthed, wide -spread, wide - spreading, and the like.

Far and wide . See under Far . -- Wide gauge . See the Note under Cauge , 6.

Wide adverb [ As. wīde .]
1. To a distance; far; widely; to a great distance or extent; as, his fame was spread wide .

[ I] went wyde in this world, wonders to hear.
Piers Plowman.

2. So as to leave or have a great space between the sides; so as to form a large opening. Shak.

3. So as to be or strike far from, or on one side of, an object or purpose; aside; astray.

Wide noun
1. That which is wide; wide space; width; extent. "The waste wide of that abyss." Tennyson.

2. That which goes wide, or to one side of the mark.

Wide adjective (Stock Exchanges) Having or showing a wide difference between the highest and lowest price, amount of supply, etc.; as, a wide opening; wide prices, where the prices bid and asked differ by several points.

Wide-angle adjective (Photog. & Optics) Having or covering an angle wider than the ordinary; -- applied to certain lenses of relatively short focus. Lenses for ordinary purposes have an angle of 50° or less. Wide-angle lenses may cover as much as 100° and are useful for photographing at short range, but the pictures appear distorted.

Wide-awake (wīd`ȧ*wāk") adjective Fully awake; not drowsy or dull; hence, knowing; keen; alert. Dickens.

Wide-awake noun A broad-brimmed, low- crowned felt hat.

Widegap noun (Zoology) The angler; -- called also widegab , and widegut .

Widely adverb
1. In a wide manner; to a wide degree or extent; far; extensively; as, the gospel was widely disseminated by the apostles.

2. Very much; to a great degree or extent; as, to differ widely in opinion.

Widen transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Widened ; present participle & verbal noun Widening .] To make wide or wider; to extend in breadth; to increase the width of; as, to widen a field; to widen a breach; to widen a stocking.

Widen intransitive verb To grow wide or wider; to enlarge; to spread; to extend.

Arches widen , and long aisles extend.
Pope.

Wideness noun
1. The quality or state of being wide; breadth; width; great extent from side to side; as, the wideness of a room. "I landed in a small creek about the wideness of my canoe." Swift.

2. Large extent in all directions; broadness; greatness; as, the wideness of the sea or ocean.

Widespread adjective Spread to a great distance; widely extended; extending far and wide; as, widespread wings; a widespread movement.

Widewhere adverb [ See Wide , and Where .] Widely; far and wide. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Widgeon noun [ Probably from an old French form of French vigeon , vingeon , gingeon ; of uncertain origin; confer Latin vipio , -onis , a kind of small crane.] (Zoology) Any one of several species of fresh-water ducks, especially those belonging to the subgenus Mareca , of the genus Anas . The common European widgeon ( Anas penelope ) and the American widgeon ( A. Americana ) are the most important species. The latter is called also baldhead , baldpate , baldface , baldcrown , smoking duck , wheat , duck , and whitebelly .

Bald-faced , or Green-headed , widgeon, the American widgeon. -- Black widgeon , the European tufted duck. -- Gray widgeon . (a) The gadwall. (b) The pintail duck. -- Great headed widgeon , the poachard. -- Pied widgeon . (a) The poachard. (b) The goosander. -- Saw-billed widgeon , the merganser. -- Sea widgeon . See in the Vocabulary. -- Spear widgeon , the goosander. [ Prov. Eng.] -- Spoonbilled widgeon , the shoveler. -- White widgeon , the smew. -- Wood widgeon , the wood duck.

Widish adjective Moderately wide. Tyndall.

Widmanstätten figures (Min.) Certain figures appearing on etched meteoric iron; -- so called after A. B. Widmanstätten , of Vienna, who first described them in 1808. See the Note and Illust. under Meteorite .

Widow noun [ Middle English widewe , widwe , Anglo-Saxon weoduwe , widuwe , wuduwe ; akin to OFries. widwe , Old Saxon widowa , Dutch weduwe , German wittwe , witwe , Old High German wituwa , witawa , Goth. widuw... , Russian udova , OIr. fedb , W. gweddw , Latin vidua , Sanskrit vidhavā ; and probably to Sanskrit vidh to be empty, to lack; confer Greek ... a bachelor. ............. Confer Vidual .] A woman who has lost her husband by death, and has not married again; one living bereaved of a husband. "A poor widow ." Chaucer.

Grass widow . See under Grass . -- Widow bewitched , a woman separated from her husband; a grass widow. [ Colloq.] -- Widow-in-mourning (Zoology) , the macavahu. -- Widow monkey (Zoology) , a small South American monkey ( Callithrix lugens ); -- so called on account of its color, which is black except the dull whitish arms, neck, and face, and a ring of pure white around the face. -- Widow's chamber (Eng. Law) , in London, the apparel and furniture of the bedchamber of the widow of a freeman, to which she was formerly entitled.

Widow adjective Widowed. "A widow woman." 1 Kings xvii. 9. "This widow lady." Shak.

Widow transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Widowed ; present participle & verbal noun Widowing .]


1. To reduce to the condition of a widow; to bereave of a husband; -- rarely used except in the past participle.

Though in thus city he
Hath widowed and unchilded many a one,
Which to this hour bewail the injury.
Shak.

2. To deprive of one who is loved; to strip of anything beloved or highly esteemed; to make desolate or bare; to bereave.

The widowed isle, in mourning,
Dries up her tears.
Dryden.

Tress of their shriveled fruits
Are widowed , dreary storms o'er all prevail.
J. Philips.

Mourn, widowed queen; forgotten Sion, mourn.
Heber.

3. To endow with a widow's right. [ R.] Shak.

4. To become, or survive as, the widow of. [ Obsolete]

Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow
them all .
Shak.

Widow noun (Card Playing) In various games, any extra hand or part of a hand, as one dealt to the table.

Widow bird (Zoology) See Whidan bird .

Widow-hunter noun One who courts widows, seeking to marry one with a fortune. Addison.

Widow-maker noun One who makes widows by destroying husbands. [ R.] Shak.

Widow-wail noun (Botany) A low, narrowleaved evergreen shrub ( Cneorum tricoccon ) found in Southern Europe.

Widower noun A man who has lost his wife by death, and has not married again. Shak.

Widowerhood noun The state of being a widower.

Widowhood noun
1. The state of being a widow; the time during which a woman is widow; also, rarely, the state of being a widower.

Johnson clung to her memory during a widowhood of more than thirty years.
Leslie Stephen.

2. Estate settled on a widow. [ Obsolete] "I 'll assure her of her widowhood . . . in all my lands." Shak.

Widowly adjective Becoming or like a widow.

Width noun [ From Wide .] The quality of being wide; extent from side to side; breadth; wideness; as, the width of cloth; the width of a door.

Widual adjective Of or pertaining to a widow; vidual. [ Obsolete] Bale.

Widwe noun A widow. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Wield transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Wielded ; present participle & verbal noun Wielding .] [ Middle English welden to govern, to have power over, to possess, Anglo-Saxon geweldan , gewyldan , from wealdan ; akin to Old Saxon waldan , OFries. walda , German walten , Old High German waltan , Icelandic valda , Swedish vålla to occasion, to cause, Danish volde , Goth. waldan to govern, rule, Latin valere to be strong. Confer Herald , Valiant .]


1. To govern; to rule; to keep, or have in charge; also, to possess. [ Obsolete]

When a strong armed man keepeth his house, all things that he wieldeth ben in peace.
Wyclif (Luke xi. 21).

Wile [ ne will] ye wield gold neither silver ne money in your girdles.
Wyclif (Matt. x. 9.)

2. To direct or regulate by influence or authority; to manage; to control; to sway.

The famous orators . . . whose resistless eloquence
Wielded at will that fierce democraty.
Milton.

Her newborn power was wielded from the first by unprincipled and ambitions men.
De Quincey.

3. To use with full command or power, as a thing not too heavy for the holder; to manage; to handle; hence, to use or employ; as, to wield a sword; to wield the scepter.

Base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield !
Shak.

Part wield their arms, part curb the foaming steed.
Milton.

Nothing but the influence of a civilized power could induce a savage to wield a spade.
S. S. Smith.

To wield the scepter , to govern with supreme command.

Wieldable adjective Capable of being wielded.

Wieldance noun The act or power of wielding. [ Obsolete] "Our weak wieldance ." Bp. Hall.

Wielder noun One who wields or employs; a manager; a controller.

A wielder of the great arm of the war.
Milton.

Wielding noun Power; authority; rule. [ Obsolete]

To have them in your might and in your wielding .
Chaucer.

Wieldless adjective Not to be wielded; unmanageable; unwieldy. [ R.] " Wieldless might." Spenser.

Wieldsome adjective Admitting of being easily wielded or managed. [ Obsolete] Golding.

Wieldy adjective Capable of being wielded; manageable; wieldable; -- opposed to unwieldy . [ R.] Johnson.

Wiener Schnitzel [ G., Vienna cutlet.] A veal cutlet variously seasoned garnished, often with lemon, sardines, and capers.

Wier noun Same as Weir .

Wierangle noun (Zoology) Same as Wariangle . [ Obsolete or Prov. Eng.]

Wiery adjective [ Confer Wearish .] Wet; moist; marshy. [ Obsolete]

Wiery adjective [ From Wire ; confer Fiery .] Wiry. [ Obsolete] " Wiery gold." Peacham.

Wife noun ; plural Wives . [ Middle English wif , Anglo-Saxon wif ; akin to OFries. & Old Saxon wif , Dutch wijf , German weib , Old High German wīb , Icelandic vīf , Danish viv ; and perhaps to Sanskrit vip excited, agitated, inspired, vip to tremble, Latin vibrare to vibrate, English vibrate . Confer Tacitus, [ " Germania" 8]: Inesse quin etiam sanctum aliquid et providum putant, nec aut consilia earum aspernantur aut responsa neglegunt. Confer Hussy a jade, Woman .]


1. A woman; an adult female; -- now used in literature only in certain compounds and phrases, as ale wife , fish wife , good wife , and the like. " Both men and wives ." Piers Plowman.

On the green he saw sitting a wife .
Chaucer.

2. The lawful consort of a man; a woman who is united to a man in wedlock; a woman who has a husband; a married woman; -- correlative of husband . " The husband of one wife ." 1 Tin. iii. 2.

Let every one you . . . so love his wife even as himself, and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Eph. v. 33.

To give to wife , To take to wife , to give or take (a woman) in marriage. -- Wife's equity (Law) , the equitable right or claim of a married woman to a reasonable and adequate provision, by way of settlement or otherwise, out of her choses in action, or out of any property of hers which is under the jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery, for the support of herself and her children. Burrill.

Wifehood noun [ Anglo-Saxon wifhād .]


1. Womanhood. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

2. The state of being a wife; the character of a wife.

Wifeless adjective Without a wife; unmarried. Chaucer.

Wifelike adjective Of, pertaining to, or like, a wife or a woman. " Wifelike government." Shak.