AskDefine | Define twig

Dictionary Definition

twig n : small branch or division of a branch; usually applied to branches of the current or preceding year [syn: branchlet, sprig]


1 branch out in a twiglike manner; "The lightning bolt twigged in several directions"
2 understand, usually after some initial difficulty; "She didn't know what her classmates were plotting but finally caught on" [syn: catch on, get wise, get onto, tumble, latch on, cotton on, get it] [also: twigging, twigged]

User Contributed Dictionary


Etymology 1

  • (Noun) - from the Germanic root twi-, expressing (forking into) two-ness; cognate with Latin duo (two)



  1. A small thin branch of a tree or bush.
a small thin branch
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Irish and Scots Gaelic tuig, "to understand"


  1. colloquial regional To realise something; to 'catch on'.
    He hasn't twigged that we're planning a surprise party for him.
to realise something

Extensive Definition

A twig is a small terminal branch section that may bear leaves, buds and sometimes the flowers and fruit of plants. Only dicotyledonous flowering woody plants and most gymnosperms have true twigs; monocotyledons and tree ferns do not.
Twigs are critically important in identification of trees, shrubs and vines, especially in wintertime. The buds on the twig are an important diagnostic characteristic, as are the abscission scars where the leaves have fallen away. The color, texture, and patterning of the twig bark is also important, as is the thickness and nature of any pith of the twig.
There are two types of twigs: vegetative twigs and fruiting spurs. Fruiting spurs are specialized twigs that generally branch off the sides of branches and leading twigs, and are stubby and slow-growing, with many annular ring markings from seasons past. The age and rate of growth of a twig can be determined by counting the winter terminal bud scale scars, or annular ring marking, down the length of the twig.
twig in German: Zweig (Botanik)
twig in Limburgan: Wis
twig in Swedish: Kvist
twig in Turkish: Dal

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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