wilt (v.) Look up wilt at Dictionary.com
1690s, "to fade, droop, wither," probably an alteration of welk "to wilt," probably from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German welken "to wither," cognate with Old High German irwelhen "become soft," from Proto-Germanic *welk-, from PIE root *welg- "wet" (see welkin). Transitive sense of "cause to fade or droop" is from 1809. Related: Wilted; wilting.
wily (adj.) Look up wily at Dictionary.com
"subtle, cunning, crafty," early 14c., from wile (n.) + -ly (1). Related: Wiliness. In 16c. English had wily-pie "cunning fellow."
Wimbledon Look up Wimbledon at Dictionary.com
district of South London, Old English Wunemannedune (10c.), probably "Wynnman's hill," from proper name *Wynnman. The -m- is unetymological; the -n- to -l- substitution was common in Anglo-French. Used metonymically from 1895 for the lawn tennis championships played annually there.
wimp (n.) Look up wimp at Dictionary.com
1920 (but not attested again until 1960), perhaps a clipped form of whimper (cf whimp, 1540s), perhaps influenced by J. Wellington Wimpy, comparatively unaggressive character in "Popeye" comics.
wimp (v.) Look up wimp at Dictionary.com
1986, with out (adv.), from wimp (n.). Related: Wimped; wimping.
wimple (n.) Look up wimple at Dictionary.com
"head and neck covering for women," formerly worn out of doors and especially by nuns, Old English wimpel, from Proto-Germanic *wimpilaz (source also of Old Saxon wimpal, Old Frisian wimpel, Middle Dutch, Dutch wimpel, Old High German wimpal, German wimpel, Old Norse vimpill), of obscure origin. Old French guimple (French guimpe) is from Germanic.
wimpy (adj.) Look up wimpy at Dictionary.com
1967, from wimp (n.) + -y (2). Related: Wimpiness.
win (n.) Look up win at Dictionary.com
Old English winn "labor, toil; strife, conflict; profit, gain," from the source of win (v.). Modern sense of "a victory in a game or contest" is first attested 1862, from the verb.
win (v.) Look up win at Dictionary.com
"be victorious," c. 1300 fusion of Old English winnan "to labor, toil, struggle for, work at, strive, fight," and gewinnan "to gain or succeed by struggling, conquer, obtain," both from Proto-Germanic *winn(w)an "to seek to gain" (source also of Old Saxon winnan, Old Norse vinna, Old Frisian winna, Dutch winnen "to gain, win," Danish vinde "to win," Old High German winnan "to strive, struggle, fight," German gewinnen "to gain, win," Gothic gawinnen "to suffer, toil"), from PIE root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for."

Related: Won; winning. Meaning "gain the affection or esteem of" is from c. 1600. Breadwinner preserves the sense of "toil" in Old English winnan. Phrase you can't win them all (1954) first attested in Raymond Chandler. Winningest is attested by 1804.
wince (v.) Look up wince at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, wincen; mid-13c. winchen, "to recoil suddenly," from Anglo-French *wenchir, Old North French *wenchier (Old French guenchir) "to turn aside, avoid," from Frankish *wenkjan, from Proto-Germanic *wankjan (source also of Old High German wankon "to stagger, totter," Old Norse vakka "to stray, hover;" see wink (v.)). Originally of horses. Modern form is attested from late 13c. Related: Winced; wincing.
winch (n.) Look up winch at Dictionary.com
late 13c., from Old English wince "winch, pulley," from Proto-Germanic *winkja-, from PIE *weng- "to bend, curve" (see wink (v.)). Perhaps so called in reference to the bent handle.
winch (v.) Look up winch at Dictionary.com
"to hoist with a winch," 1520s, from winch (n.). Related: Winched; winching.
Winchester Look up Winchester at Dictionary.com
city in Hampshire, capital of Wessex and later of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Old English Uintancæstir (c.730), from Ouenta (c. 150), from Venta, a pre-Celtic name perhaps meaning "favored or chief place" + Old English ceaster "Roman town" (see Chester). As the name of a kind of breech-loading repeating rifle it is from the name of Oliver F. Winchester (1810-1880), U.S. manufacturer.
wind (n.1) Look up wind at Dictionary.com
"air in motion," Old English wind "wind," from Proto-Germanic *windaz (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Dutch wind, Old Norse vindr, Old High German wind, German Wind, Gothic winds), from PIE *we-nt-o- "blowing," from root *we- "to blow" (source also of Sanskrit va-, Greek aemi-, Gothic waian, Old English wawan, Old High German wajan, German wehen, Old Church Slavonic vejati "to blow;" Sanskrit vatah, Avestan vata-, Hittite huwantis, Latin ventus, Old Church Slavonic vetru, Lithuanian vejas "wind;" Lithuanian vetra "tempest, storm;" Old Irish feth "air;" Welsh gwynt, Breton gwent "wind").

Normal pronunciation evolution made this word rhyme with kind and rind (Donne rhymes it with mind), but it shifted to a short vowel 18c., probably from influence of windy, where the short vowel is natural. A sad loss for poets, who now must rhyme it only with sinned and a handful of weak words. Symbolic of emptiness and vanity since late 13c.
I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind. [Ernest Dowson, 1896]
Meaning "breath" is attested from late Old English; especially "breath in speaking" (early 14c.), so long-winded, also "easy or regular breathing" (early 14c.), hence second wind in the figurative sense (by 1830), an image from the sport of hunting.

Winds "wind instruments of an orchestra" is from 1876. Figurative phrase which way the wind blows for "the current state of affairs" is suggested from c. 1400. To get wind of "receive information about" is by 1809, perhaps inspired by French avoir le vent de. To take the wind out of (one's) sails in the figurative sense (by 1883) is an image from sailing, where a ship without wind can make no progress. Wind-chill index is recorded from 1939. Wind energy from 1976. Wind vane from 1725.
wind (v.1) Look up wind at Dictionary.com
"move by turning and twisting," Old English windan "to turn, twist, plait, curl, brandish, swing" (class III strong verb; past tense wand, past participle wunden), from Proto-Germanic *windan "to wind" (source also of Old Saxon windan, Old Norse vinda, Old Frisian winda, Dutch winden, Old High German wintan, German winden, Gothic windan "to wind"), from PIE *wendh- "to turn, wind, weave" (source also of Latin viere "twist, plait, weave," vincire "bind;" Lithuanian vyti "twist, wind").

Related to wend, which is its causative form, and to wander. The past tense and past participle merged in Middle English. Meaning "to twine, entwine oneself around" is from 1590s; transitive sense of "turn or twist round and round (on something) is from c. 1300. Meaning "set a watch, clockwork, etc. in operating mode by tightening its spring" is from c. 1600. Wind down "come to a conclusion" is recorded from 1952; wind up "come to a conclusion" is from 1825; earlier in transitive sense "put (affairs) in order in advance of a final settlement" (1780). Winding sheet "shroud of a corpse" is attested from early 15c.
wind (v.2) Look up wind at Dictionary.com
"to perceive by scent, get wind of," c. 1400, from wind (n.1). Of horns, etc., "make sound by blowing through," from 1580s. Meaning "tire, put out of breath; render temporarily breathless" is from 1802, originally in pugilism, in reference to the effect of a punch in the stomach. Related: Winded; winding.
wind (n.2) Look up wind at Dictionary.com
"an act of winding round," 1825, from wind (v.1) . Earlier, "an apparatus for winding," late 14c., in which use perhaps from a North Sea Germanic word, such as Middle Dutch, Middle Low German winde "windlass."
wind-rose (n.) Look up wind-rose at Dictionary.com
1590s, from wind (n.1) + rose (n.1).
wind-sock (n.) Look up wind-sock at Dictionary.com
also windsock, 1922, from wind (n.1) + sock (n.).
wind-up (n.) Look up wind-up at Dictionary.com
1570s, "conclusion or final adjustment and settlement of some matter," from verbal phrase wind up (see wind (v.1)). Baseball pitching sense attested from 1906.
windage (n.) Look up windage at Dictionary.com
1710, "allowance of space between the projectile and the diameter of the tube of a firearm," from wind (n.1) + -age. Meaning "allowance for wind deflection" is from 1867.
windbag (n.) Look up windbag at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "bellows for an organ," from wind (n.1) + bag (n.). Figurative sense of "person who talks too much" is attested from 1827.
windbreak (n.) Look up windbreak at Dictionary.com
also wind-break, "row of trees, etc., to break the force of the wind," 1861, American English, from wind (n.1) + break (n.).
windbreaker (n.) Look up windbreaker at Dictionary.com
type of jacket to keep off the wind (originally a kind of leather shirt), 1918, from wind (n.1) + agent noun from break (v.).
windfall (n.) Look up windfall at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from wind (n.1) + fall (n.1). Originally literal, in reference to wood or fruit blown down by the wind, and thus free to all. Figurative sense of "unexpected acquisition" is recorded from 1540s.
windhover (n.) Look up windhover at Dictionary.com
"kestrel," 1670s, from wind (n.1) + hover; so called from the bird's habit of hovering in the wind. Among the many early names for it was windfucker (1590s).
windlass (n.) Look up windlass at Dictionary.com
device for raising weights by winding a rope round a cylinder, c. 1400, alteration of wyndase (late 13c.), from Anglo-French windas, and directly from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse vindass, from vinda "to wind" (see wind (v.1)) + ass "pole, beam" (cognate with Gothic ans "beam, pillar").
windmill (n.) Look up windmill at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from wind (n.1) + mill (n.). Similar formation in German Windmühle, Dutch windmolen, French moulin à vent. Verb meaning "to swing the arms wildly" is recorded from 1888. Related: Windmilled; windmilling.
window (n.) Look up window at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, literally "wind eye," from Old Norse vindauga, from vindr "wind" (see wind (n.1)) + auga "eye" (from PIE root *okw- "to see"). Replaced Old English eagþyrl, literally "eye-hole," and eagduru, literally "eye-door."

Originally an unglazed hole in a roof, most Germanic languages adopted a version of Latin fenestra to describe the glass version (such as German Fenster, Swedish fönster), and English used fenester as a parallel word till mid-16c. Window dressing is first recorded 1790; figurative sense is from 1898. Window seat is attested from 1778. Window of opportunity (1979) is from earlier figurative use in U.S. space program, such as launch window (1963). Window-shopping is recorded from 1904.
Window shopping, according to the women, is the king of outdoor sports. Whenever a woman gets down town and has 2 or 3 hours and no money to spend, she goes window shopping. She gives the Poiret gowns and the thousand dollar furs the double O and then kids herself into believing she'd look like Lillian Russell or Beverly Bayne if she had 'em on. It's great for developing the imagination and one of the great secrets of conserving the bankroll. ... ["Motor Age," Jan. 27, 1916]
windowless (adj.) Look up windowless at Dictionary.com
1760, from window (n.) + -less.
windowsill (n.) Look up windowsill at Dictionary.com
also window-sill, 1703, from window (n.) + sill (n.).
windpipe (n.) Look up windpipe at Dictionary.com
"trachea," 1520s, from wind (n.1) in the "breath" sense + pipe (n.1).
windrow (n.) Look up windrow at Dictionary.com
1520s, from wind (n.1) + row (n.). Because it is exposed to the wind for drying.
windshield (n.) Look up windshield at Dictionary.com
1902, from wind (n.1) + shield (n.). U.S. alternative to British windscreen (which is attested from 1905 in this sense).
Windsor Look up Windsor at Dictionary.com
town in Berkshire, Old English Windlesoran (c.1060), literally "bank or slope with a windlass" (Old English *windels). Site of a royal residence, hence Windsor chair (1724), Windsor tie (1895), Windsor knot in a necktie (1953).
windstorm (n.) Look up windstorm at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from wind (n.1) + storm (n.).
windsurf (v.) Look up windsurf at Dictionary.com
also wind-surf, 1969, from wind (n.1) + surf (v.). Related: Windsurfed; windsurfing.
windswept (adj.) Look up windswept at Dictionary.com
1932, originally of hair, from wind (n.1) + past participle of sweep (v.).
windward (adj.) Look up windward at Dictionary.com
"on the side toward which the wind blows," 1540s, from wind (n.1) + -ward.
windy (adj.) Look up windy at Dictionary.com
Old English windig "windy, breezy;" see wind (n.1) + -y (2). Meaning "affected by flatulence" is in late Old English. Chichago has been the Windy City since at least 1885.
wine (n.) Look up wine at Dictionary.com
Old English win "wine," from Proto-Germanic *winam (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German win, Old Norse vin, Dutch wijn, German Wein), an early borrowing from Latin vinum "wine," from PIE *woin-o-, related to words for "wine" in Greek (oinos), Armenian, Hittite, and non-Indo-European Georgian and West Semitic (Arabic wain, Hebrew yayin), probably from a lost Mediterranean language word *win-/*woin- "wine."

Also from Latin vinum are Old Church Slavonic vino, Polish wino, Russian vino, Lithuanian vynas, Welsh gwin, Old Irish fin, Gaelic fion. Essentially the same word as vine (q.v.). Wine snob is recorded from 1951. Wine cellar is from late 14c. Wine-cooler is 1815 as "vessel in which bottled wine is kept cool;" by 1977 as a type of wine-based beverage.
wine (v.) Look up wine at Dictionary.com
"entertain with wine," 1862, from wine (n.). Earlier "expend in drinking wine" (1620s). Related: Wined; wining.
wine-skin (n.) Look up wine-skin at Dictionary.com
also wineskin, by 1749, from wine (n.) + skin (n.).
winebibber (n.) Look up winebibber at Dictionary.com
"drunkard," 1530s, loan-translation of German Weinsäufer (Luther), from Wein "wine" + Säufer "bibber." See bibber. Related: Winebibbing.
winery (n.) Look up winery at Dictionary.com
1867, American English, from wine (n.) + -ery.
Winfred Look up Winfred at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Old English Winfrið, literally "friend of peace," from wine "friend" (related to winnan "to strive, struggle, fight;" see win (v.)) + friðu "peace" (see free)
wing (n.) Look up wing at Dictionary.com
late 12c., wenge, from Old Norse vængr "wing of a bird, aisle, etc." (cognate with Danish and Swedish vinge "wing"), of unknown origin, perhaps from a Proto-Germanic *we-ingjaz, suffixed form of PIE root *we- "blow" (source of Old English wawan "to blow;" see wind (n.1)). Replaced Old English feðra (plural) "wings" (see feather). The meaning "either of two divisions of a political party, army, etc." is first recorded c. 1400; theatrical sense is from 1790.

The slang sense of earn (one's) wings is 1940s, from the wing-shaped badges awarded to air cadets on graduation. To be under (someone's) wing "protected by (someone)" is recorded from early 13c. Phrase on a wing and a prayer is title of a 1943 song about landing a damaged aircraft.
wing (v.) Look up wing at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "take flight;" 1610s, "fit with wings," from wing (n.). Meaning "shoot a bird in the wing" is from 1802, with figurative extensions to wounds suffered in non-essential parts. Verbal phrase wing it (1885) is said to be from a theatrical slang sense of an actor learning his lines in the wings before going onstage, or else not learning them at all and being fed by a prompter in the wings; but perhaps it is simply an image of a baby bird taking flight from the nest for the first time (the phrase is attested in this sense from 1875). Related: Winged; winging.
wingding (n.) Look up wingding at Dictionary.com
1927, originally hobo slang, "counterfeit seizures induced to attract sympathy;" meaning "energetic celebration" first recorded 1949.
winged (adj.) Look up winged at Dictionary.com
late 14c., past participle adjective from wing (v.).