Definition of osier in English:


Line breaks: osier
Pronunciation: /ˈəʊzɪə


  • 1A small Eurasian willow which grows mostly in wet habitats. It is usually coppiced, being a major source of the long flexible shoots (withies) used in basketwork.
    • Salix viminalis, family Salicaceae
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    • Similarly, when flooded, the common osier is able to aerate upper adventitious roots, while deeper roots rely on anoxia-tolerance for their survival.
    • Reed-fringed dykes in the very centre of the vast Halvergate marshes harbour a few in winter; Fenland osier copses are equally attractive.
  • 1.1A shoot of a willow.
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    • You play it by hitting the outside with a big wooden kiyak and the inside with a small osier which plays the part of the small drum, not used in Bulgarian folk music.
    • The Lycians are cutting osiers by a pool and will not let her drink the water; indeed to make sure she cannot refresh herself, they stomp around in the mud, stirring up the silt on the bottom out of pure spite.
  • 1.2 dated Any willow tree.
    More example sentences
    • You then discover the placidity of Berkshire: hawthorn, alder and osier hemming in the path; beyond them, water meadows where horses pad about.


late Middle English: from Old French; compare with medieval Latin auseria 'osier bed'.

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a small amount; a little