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A.Word.A.Day--willy-nilly

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: words formed by contraction.

willy-nilly (WIL-ee NIL-ee) adverb, adjective

1. Whether willing or not.

2. Haphazardly.

[From contraction of "will ye/he/I nill ye/he/I", from will (to be willing) and nill (to be unwilling).]

See more usage examples of willy-nilly in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"[The interns] had been recruited at the last minute by a government summer job program and assigned, willy-nilly, to the aquarium." David L. Kirp; Diversity and Its Malcontents; The Nation (New York); Apr 21, 2003.

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The best way to be more free is to grant more freedom to others. -Carlo Dossi, author and diplomat (1849-1910)

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