froward vs willful what difference

what is difference between froward and willful



From Middle English froward, fraward, equivalent to fro +‎ -ward. Compare Old English fromweard, framweard (turned away, having the back turned).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈfɹəʊ.(w)əd/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈfɹoʊ.ɚd/


froward (comparative more froward, superlative most froward)

  1. (archaic, literary) Disobedient, contrary, unmanageable; difficult to deal with; with an evil disposition.
    • 1553 (posth.), Thomas More, A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation, Book I, Chapter 14:
      But in the meanwhile, for fear lest if he would wax never the better he would wax much the worse; and from gentle, smooth, sweet, and courteous, might wax angry, rough, froward, and sour, and thereupon be troublous and tedious to the world to make fair weather with; they give him fair words for the while and put him in good comfort, and let him for the rest take his own chance.
    • c. 1592, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Act I, Scene 2,[1]
      Her only fault,—and that is faults enough,—
      Is, that she is intolerable curst
      And shrewd and froward, so beyond all measure,
      That, were my state far worser than it is,
      I would not wed her for a mine of gold.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Proverbs 21:8,[2]
      The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, “Of Innovation”
      All this is true, if time stood still; which contrariwise moveth so round, that a froward retention of custom, is as turbulent a thing as an innovation []
    • 1816, George Crabb, English Synonymes Explained, London: Baldwin, Cradock and Joy, p. 133,[3]
      A froward child becomes an untoward youth, who turns a deaf ear to all the admonitions of an afflicted parent.
    • 1885, Richard F. Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night:
      So I took a great dry gourd and, cutting open the head, scooped out the inside and cleaned it; after which I gathered grapes from a vine which grew hard by and squeezed them into the gourd, till it was full of the juice. Then I stopped up the mouth and set in the sun, where I left it for some days, until it became strong wine; and every day I used to drink of it, to comfort and sustain me under my fatigues with that from froward and obstinate fiend; and as often as I drank myself drunk, I forgot my troubles and took new heart.
    • 1954, J. R. R. Tolkien, “The Two Towers”:
      ‘I owe much to Eomer,’ said Theoden. ‘Faithful heart may have froward tongue.’


  • untoward

Derived terms

  • enfroward




  1. (obsolete) Away from.
    • Whan Sir Galahad herde hir sey so, he was adrad to be knowyn; and therewith he smote hys horse with his sporys and rode a grete pace froward them.


  • Forward, Warford, forward



willful (comparative more willful, superlative most willful)

  1. US standard spelling of wilful.

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