Share this entry

Share this page

willies

Syllabification: wil·lies
Pronunciation: /ˈwilēz
 
/

Definition of willies in English:

plural noun

(the willies) informal
A strong feeling of nervous apprehension and discomfort: that room gave him the willies
More example sentences
  • It gives even field-hardened terrorism experts the willies: bad guys launching shoulder-fired missiles at jetliners, killing hundreds and grounding air traffic.
  • One tape gives me the willies - it's about a stuffed bear who is rejected in the store because he lacks a button, so at night he searches through the department store for the button that will make him loved.
  • Because we don't have the experience of what would have happened under other policy settings, I think bright-eyed economic rationalism still gives people the willies.

Origin

late 19th century (originally US): of unknown origin.

Definition of willies in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtenəbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure