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90s Slang You Should Know


[mil-doo, -dyoo] /ˈmɪlˌdu, -ˌdyu/
Plant Pathology. a disease of plants, characterized by a cottony, usually whitish coating on the surface of affected parts, caused by any of various fungi.
any of these fungi.
any of similar coatings or discolorations, caused by fungi, as that which appears on fabrics, paper, leather, etc., when exposed to moisture.
verb (used with or without object)
to affect or become affected with mildew.
Origin of mildew
before 1000; Middle English: honeydew, mildew; Old English mildēaw, equivalent to mil- honey (cognate with Gothic milith, akin to Latin mel, Greek méli) + dēaw dew
Related forms
mildewy, adjective
unmildewed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mildew
Historical Examples
  • Vine vigorous and hardy, producing average to good crops, often subject to mildew.

    The Grapes of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • Pale patches on the leaves are caused by mildew and are a sign of decay.

  • The walls were of white, plain plaster, innocent of paper and in some places darkly blotched with damp and mildew.

    The Bandbox Louis Joseph Vance
  • If it be mildew, the specimen must come out of the case and be properly dried.

    Practical Taxidermy Montagu Browne
  • Light ultimately bleaches many species, moisture leads to mould and mildew, and insect pests devour the specimens.

    The Butterfly Book William Jacob Holland
  • If not arrested, mildew will soon strip a plant of its foliage.

    Your Plants James Sheehan
  • It is waterproof, rot proof, mildew proof and exceedingly durable.

    Touring Afoot Claude Powell Fordyce
  • The vine is vigorous, hardy and productive but susceptible to mildew.

  • There was mildew on the walls and on the boots that stood on the floor.

    The Trembling of a Leaf William Somerset Maugham
  • The vine is vigorous, hardy and productive but subject to mildew and rot.

British Dictionary definitions for mildew


any of various diseases of plants that affect mainly the leaves and are caused by parasitic fungi See also downy mildew, powdery mildew
any fungus causing this kind of disease
another name for mould2
to affect or become affected with mildew
Derived Forms
mildewy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English mildēaw, from mil- honey (compare Latin mel, Greek mēli) + dēawdew
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mildew

mid-13c., mildeu "honeydew, nectar," from Old English meledeaw "honeydew" (sticky stuff exuded by aphids), from Proto-Germanic compound of *melith "honey" (see Melissa) + *dawwaz "dew" (see dew). Cf. Old Saxon milidou, Dutch meeldauw, German Meltau "mildew."

First element in many cases assimilated to forms of meal (n.2) "ground grain." As a kind of fungus it is first recorded mid-14c., so called from its being sticky and originally growing in plants. As a verb from 1550s. Related: Mildewed.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mildew in Science
Any of various fungi or oomycete organisms that form a white or grayish coating on surfaces, such as plant leaves, cloth, or leather, especially under damp, warm conditions. Powdery mildews are important plant diseases usually caused by ascomycete fungi, while downy mildews, including a serious disease of grapevines, are caused by oomycetes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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