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1. Whether desired or not: After her boss fell sick, she willy-nilly found herself directing the project.
2. Without order or plan; haphazardly: "We laid our sleeping bags out willy-nilly, as if having fallen from the stars" (Rick Bass).
1. Being or occurring whether desired or not: willy-nilly cooperation.
2. Disordered; haphazard: willy-nilly zoning laws.
[Alteration of will ye (or he or I), nill ye (or he or I), be you (or he or I) willing, be you (or he or I) unwilling.]
1. whether desired or not
3. occurring or taking place whether desired or not
4. occurring haphazardly
[Old English wile hē, nyle hē, literally: will he or will he not; nyle, from ne not + willan to will1]
wil•ly-nil•ly(ˈwɪl iˈnɪl i)
1. whether one wishes to or not; willingly or unwillingly.
2. in a disorganized or unplanned manner; sloppily.adj.
3. shilly-shallying; vacillating.
4. disorganized; unplanned; sloppy.
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|Adv.||1.||willy-nilly - in a random manner; "the houses were randomly scattered"; "bullets were fired into the crowd at random"|
|2.||willy-nilly - without having a choice|
1. whether you like it or not, necessarily, of necessity, perforce, whether or no, whether desired or not, nolens volens (Latin) We were dragged willy-nilly into the argument.