Definition of willies in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈwɪlɪz/

plural noun

(the willies) informal
A strong feeling of nervous 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.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wil|lies

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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