- to die or be destroyed through violence, privation, etc.: to perish in an earthquake.
- to pass away or disappear: an age of elegance that has forever perished.
- to suffer destruction or ruin: His valuable paintings perished in the fire.
- to suffer spiritual death: Save us, lest we perish.
- perish the thought, may it never happen: used facetiously or as an afterthought of foreboding.
Origin of perish
1200–50; Middle English perissen < Old French periss-, long stem of perir < Latin perīre to perish, literally, go through, spend fully, equivalent to per- per- + īre to go
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. expire. 2. wither, shrivel, rot, molder, vanish.
1. See die1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for perished
Some of those 900 bison might have perished naturally during the killing cold of winter and provided spring food for grizzlies.What It Takes to Kill a Grizzly Bear
November 23, 2014
The city insisted that such honors are reserved for people like the firefighters and cops who perished in the 9/11 attacks.How Brooklyn’s First Ice Cream Girl Fought City Hall–and Won
October 13, 2014
The Soviet regime was merciless to its opponents, and millions suffered and perished in its labor camp.From Moscow to Queens, Down Sergei Dovlatov Way
September 15, 2014
This was even before the current ISIS crisis in which many more have perished.Fighting Back With Faith: Inside the Yezidis’ Iraqi Temple
August 21, 2014
It was a negligent accident that cost more than 30 lives, including a salvage diver who perished working on the wreck.The Racism of Disaster Coverage
Barbie Latza Nadeau
July 25, 2014
He was therefore condemned, and perished on the scaffold for the crime.
No fewer than 12,000 persons had perished in the sandjak of Philippopolis!The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
Send us back into our city, and keep us there immured until we have perished of hunger.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
In the attacks upon the Malakand position, about 700 tribesmen had perished.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
Had she, then, lost her way, or perished on that long journey from Riolama?Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
- informal (of a person, part of the body, etc) extremely cold
- to be destroyed or die, esp in an untimely way
- (tr sometimes followed by with or from) to cause to sufferwe were perished with cold
- to rotleather perishes if exposed to bad weather
- perish the thought! may it never be or happen thus
- do a perish Australian informal to die or come near to dying of thirst or starvation
C13: from Old French périr, from Latin perīre to pass away entirely, from per- (away) + īre to go
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
Word Origin and History for perished
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with perished
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.