willy-nilly


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Related to willy-nilly: pithy, haphazardly, succinctly

wil·ly-nil·ly

 (wĭl′ē-nĭl′ē)
adv.
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 lay our sleeping bags out willy-nilly, as if having fallen from the stars" (Rick Bass).
adj.
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.]

willy-nilly

(ˌwɪlɪˈnɪlɪ)
adv
1. whether desired or not
2. haphazardly
adj
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)

adv.
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.
[1600–10; from the phrase will ye, nill ye. See will1, nill]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.willy-nilly - in a random mannerwilly-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

willy-nilly

adverb
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.
2. haphazardly, at random, randomly, without order, without method, without planning, any old how (informal) The papers were just bundled into the drawers willy-nilly.

willy-nilly

adverb
Without regard to desire or inclination:
Translations

willy-nilly

[ˈwɪlɪˈnɪlɪ] ADV
1. (= unsystematically) → de cualquier manera
2. (= willingly or not) → quiérase o no, guste o no guste

willy-nilly

[ˌwɪliˈnɪli] adv
(= in a disorganized way) → pêle-mêle
(= whether sb wants or not) → bon gré mal gré

willy-nilly

adv
(= at random) choose, allocateaufs Geratewohl; acceptwahllos, ohne Weiteres
(= willingly or not)wohl oder übel, nolens volens

willy-nilly

[ˌwɪlɪˈnɪlɪ] advvolente o nolente
References in classic literature ?
The perfidious deceiver was, as may plainly be perceived, already sacrificing, in intention, the poor girl in order to obtain Milady, willy-nilly.
Thus the skillful general conducts his army just as though he were leading a single man, willy-nilly, by the hand.
Then he led the Sheriff, willy-nilly, to the seat he knew so well beneath the greenwood tree.
He had made them sit up and take notice, and now, willy-nilly, they were dealing him hands and clamoring for him to play.
They are too many, and willy-nilly they'll drag down the would-be equestrian before ever he gets astride.
At such moments he even closed his eyes and allowed his body to be hurled hither and thither, willy-nilly, careless of any hurt that might thereby come to it.
But now White Logic willy-nilly wakes them for me, for White Logic, most valiant, is unafraid of all the monsters of the earthly dream.
I have seen her dive from the bridge deck--no mean feat in itself--into that six-feet of water, and fetch up no less than forty-seven coins, scattered willy-nilly over the whole bottom of the tank.
He abruptly ceased, for at that moment, to enforce his remark, he had placed his hand on Planchette, and at that moment his hand had been seized, as by a paroxysm, and sent dashing, willy-nilly, across the paper, writing as the hand of an angry person would write.
There is no need of going into an extended recital of our suffering in the small boat during the many days we were driven and drifted, here and there, willy-nilly, across the ocean.
Plus don't apply willy-nilly, that marks your credit file.
WE keep hearing that there is a desperate need for adoptive parents, yet people seem to be rejected willy-nilly.