Etymology
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withers (n.)

1570s, probably from a dialectal survival of Old English wiðer "against, contrary, opposite" (see with) + plural suffix. Usually said to be so called because the withers are the parts of the animal that oppose the load. Compare German Widerrist "withers," from wider "against" + Rist "wrist."

updated on April 07, 2014

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Definitions of withers from WordNet

withers (n.)
the highest part of the back at the base of the neck of various animals especially draft animals;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.