Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

will - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     will pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] someone’s determination to do what is necessary to achieve what they want
    strong/iron will:

    Mr Wolski had an iron will and learned to walk again.

    the will to do something:

    Without the will to win, the team won’t go far.

    battle/clash of wills:

    a clash of wills between a manager and an employee

    1. a.
      [singular] what someone wants to happen
      will of:

      For once politicians are listening to the will of the people.

      against someone’s will:

      He claims he was held in the flat against his will.

      impose your will on someone (=make other people do what you want):

      She was a powerful ruler, used to imposing her will.

    2. b.
      [singular] an ability to make decisions and take action

      This machine seems to have a will of its own.

  2. 2
    [countable] legal a legal document that explains what you want to happen to your money and possessions after you die. This is often more formally called a last will and testament
    make/write/draw up a will:

    I really should make a will, just in case something happens.

    in someone’s will:

    Ed’s father didn’t leave him anything in his will.

    challenge/contest a will:

    Her children, who were left nothing, are now contesting the will.

    execute/administer a will:

    He asked his brother to execute the will for him after his death.

    See also living will
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play