Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

perishing

[per-i-shing]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. causing destruction, ruin, extreme discomfort, or death: lost in the perishing cold.

Origin of perishing

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at perish, -ing2
Related formsper·ish·ing·ly, adverbnon·per·ish·ing, adjectiveun·per·ish·ing, adjective

perish

[per-ish]
verb (used without object)
  1. to die or be destroyed through violence, privation, etc.: to perish in an earthquake.
  2. to pass away or disappear: an age of elegance that has forever perished.
  3. to suffer destruction or ruin: His valuable paintings perished in the fire.
  4. to suffer spiritual death: Save us, lest we perish.
Idioms
  1. 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
Related formsper·ish·less, adjectiveper·ish·ment, nounun·per·ished, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. expire. 2. wither, shrivel, rot, molder, vanish.

Synonym study

1. See die1.

Antonyms

2. appear.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for perishing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Well, pray keep up a good fire, for it is a perishing night.

    The Field of Ice

    Jules Verne

  • Their country is perishing for lack of a knowledge which they cannot supply.

  • The other, so challenged, answered, "When we were perishing of cold and there was a great depth of snow."

    Anabasis

    Xenophon

  • In short, romance is perishing from the sea with the universal invasion of steam.

  • We were surrounded with water, yet perishing 136 with thirst!


British Dictionary definitions for perishing

perishing

adjective
  1. informal (of weather, etc) extremely cold
  2. slang (intensifier qualifying something undesirable)it's a perishing nuisance!
Derived Formsperishingly, adverb

perish

verb (intr)
  1. to be destroyed or die, esp in an untimely way
  2. (tr sometimes followed by with or from) to cause to sufferwe were perished with cold
  3. to rotleather perishes if exposed to bad weather
  4. perish the thought! may it never be or happen thus
noun
  1. do a perish Australian informal to die or come near to dying of thirst or starvation

Word Origin

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 perishing

perish

v.

mid-13c., from periss- present participle stem of Old French perir "perish, be lost, be shipwrecked" (12c.), from Latin perire "to be lost, perish," literally "to go through," from per- "through, completely, to destruction" (see per) + ire "to go" (see ion). Related: Perished; perishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with perishing

perish

In addition to the idiom beginning with perish

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.