- causing destruction, ruin, extreme discomfort, or death: lost in the perishing cold.
Origin of perishing
- 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 perishing
In "the haste of the workers, the feeling for form itself, the ear and eye for the melody of movements are [. . .] perishing."Zany, Cute, Interesting: What the Words We Use Say About Us
October 23, 2012
Well, pray keep up a good fire, for it is a perishing night.The Field of Ice
Their country is perishing for lack of a knowledge which they cannot supply.Leading Articles on Various Subjects
The other, so challenged, answered, "When we were perishing of cold and there was a great depth of snow."Anabasis
In short, romance is perishing from the sea with the universal invasion of steam.Six Letters From the Colonies
We were surrounded with water, yet perishing 136 with thirst!The Rambles of a Rat
A. L. O. E.
- informal (of weather, etc) extremely cold
- slang (intensifier qualifying something undesirable)it's a perishing nuisance!
- 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 perishing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with perishing
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.