early 14c., "a winch, crane," from Anglo-French vice, Old French vis, viz "screw," from Latin vītis "vine, tendril of a vine," literally "that which winds," from root of viere "to bind, twist" (from PIE root *wei- "to turn, twist, bend"). Also in Middle English, "device like a screw or winch for bending a crossbow or catapult; spiral staircase; the screw of a press; twisted tie for fastening a hood under the chin." The modern meaning "clamping tool with two jaws closed by a screw" is first recorded c. 1500.
also weiə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to turn, twist, bend," with derivatives referring to suppleness or binding.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Avestan vaeiti- "osier;" Greek itea "willow," iris "rainbow;" Latin viere "to bend, twist," vitis "vine;" Lithuanian vytis "willow twig;" Old Irish fiar, Welsh gwyr "bent, crooked;" Polish witwa, Welsh gwden "willow," Russian vitvina "branch, bough;" Old English wir "metal drawn out into a fine thread."