- to contract and wrinkle, as from great heat, cold, or dryness.
- to wither; make or become helpless or useless.
Origin of shrivel
1595–1605; akin to Swedish skroflig uneven, rough (perhaps orig. wrinkled, shrunken), dialectal Swedish skryvla to wrinkle, Old English sceorfan to roughen; see scurf
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. shrink. See wither.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for shriveled
They became so brown and shriveled that they looked like walking beef jerky with New York accents.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’
January 7, 2015
The bone marrow of the dead soldiers was depleted dramatically, and their lymph nodes had shriveled away.Sarin, Nitrogen Mustard, Cyanide & More: All About Chemical Weapons
August 26, 2013
A dreadful disease, possibly muscular dystrophy, had shriveled his legs.Enough With This 'Lost Cause' Nonsense
February 19, 2013
As the upstate economy has shriveled, the state government has come to rely heavily on the financial sector as a revenue source.What Paterson Got Right
March 5, 2010
She half-rose, her head thrust forward on her shriveled neck.
The shriveled leaves were blown from the trees by the fierce gusts.A Little Girl in Old Detroit</p>
Amanda Minnie Douglas
I am sure you have seen the corn blades all shriveled on very hot days.Agriculture for Beginners
Charles William Burkett
And I saw too that underneath, toward the back, was a shriveled body.Wandl the Invader
Raymond King Cummings
Out of the shadows an old woman, bent and shriveled, leaned toward us.
- to make or become shrunken and withered
- to lose or cause to lose vitality
C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish dialect skryvla wrinkle
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 shriveled
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper