(past would; present singular & plural will)
Etymology: Middle English (1st & 3d singular present indicative), from Old English wille (infinitive wyllan); akin to Old High German wili (3d singular present indicative) wills, Latin velle to wish, will
Date: before 12th century
desire, wish <call it what you will> verbal auxiliary 1. — used to express desire, choice, willingness, consent, or in negative constructions refusal <no one would take the job> <if we will all do our best> <will you please stop that racket> 2. — used to express frequent, customary, or habitual action or natural tendency or disposition <will get angry over nothing> <will work one day and loaf the next> 3. — used to express futurity <tomorrow morning I will wake up in this first-class hotel suite — Tennessee Williams> 4. — used to express capability or sufficiency <the back seat will hold three passengers> 5. — used to express probability and often equivalent to the simple verb <that will be the babysitter> 6. a. — used to express determination, insistence, persistence, or willfulness <I have made up my mind to go and go I will> b. — used to express inevitability <accidents will happen> 7. — used to express a command, exhortation, or injunction <you will do as I say, at once> intransitive verb to have a wish or desire <whether we will or no> Usage: see shall II. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English willa will, desire; akin to Old English wille Date: before 12th century 1. desire, wish: as a. disposition, inclination <where there's a will there's a way> b. appetite, passion c. choice, determination 2. a. something desired; especially a choice or determination of one having authority or power b. (1) archaic request, command (2) [from the phrase our will is which introduces it] the part of a summons expressing a royal command 3. the act, process, or experience of willing ; volition 4. a. mental powers manifested as wishing, choosing, desiring, or intending b. a disposition to act according to principles or ends c. the collective desire of a group <the will of the people> 5. the power of control over one's own actions or emotions <a man of iron will> 6. a legal declaration of a person's wishes regarding the disposal of his or her property or estate after death; especially a written instrument legally executed by which a person makes disposition of his or her estate to take effect after death III. Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. a. to order or direct by a will <willed that her property be divided among her children> b. to dispose of by or as if by a will ; bequeath <willed his entire estate to this wife> 2. a. to determine by an act of choice b. decree, ordain <Providence wills it> c. intend, purpose d. to cause or change by an act of will <believed he could will himself to succeed>; also to try to do so intransitive verb 1. to exercise the will 2. choose <do as you will>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.