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[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 mildewed
Historical Examples
  • "My conscience is mildewed and my temper is blue molded," declared Grace.

  • I took these out, and discovered a little dress, musty and mildewed.

    Field and Forest Oliver Optic
  • The first rain of the Masika season fell on this day; I shall be mildewed before I reach the coast.

    How I Found Livingstone Henry M. Stanley
  • If they mildewed they would be a dead loss to the merchants handling them.

    Steve and the Steam Engine Sara Ware Bassett
  • The painting consists in a mildewed daub of a woman in the niche of one of the windows.

    Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay George Otto Trevelyan
  • Many of the pictures in the gallery were warped and cracked, and mildewed by neglect and damp.

    Art in England Dutton Cook
  • Draughts result in checks to the growth and in mildewed foliage.

  • And all you've got is that mildewed chaperon, snoring there.

    Ambrotox and Limping Dick Oliver Fleming
  • He hands me his pouch; the tobacco is a little old and mildewed.

    Peeps at People Robert Cortes Holliday
  • There was mildewed and rotten bread that no one could touch.

    The Secrets of a Kuttite Edward O. Mousley
British Dictionary definitions for mildewed


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 mildewed



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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mildewed 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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