Definition of osier in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈōZHər/


1A small Eurasian willow that grows mostly in wet habitats and is a major source of the long flexible shoots (withies) used in basketwork.
  • Salix viminalis, family Salicaceae.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
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.
2Any of several North American dogwoods.
Example sentences
  • Area 3 is near the base of the point about 10 km west of Area 2 and consists of a small mixed woodlot adjacent to damp areas dominated by dense shrubs (primarily red osier dogwood [Cornus stoloniferal).
  • The shrub layer was variable in density and composition but included beaked hazelnut, green alder, rose (Rosa spp.), red osier dogwood, and saskatoon.
  • On the way the road crosses Big Blackhawk Creek and parallels Little Blackhawk Creek, which like Butterfly Creek are lined with dense thickets of willows, alders, and red osier dogwoods.


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

Words that rhyme with osier

ambrosia, crozier, hosier, symposia

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: o·sier

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