- 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 shrivelled
I looked into the shrivelled, but otherwise normal, face of the Indian woman.A Woman Tenderfoot
Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
And he lifted the shrivelled stump of that finger to his lips and kissed it.Father Sergius
The bag was made of shrivelled skin of a dusty brown colour.Lotus Buds
His shrivelled old housekeeper was also nowhere to be found.
Carolina nodded and her shrivelled monkey face was puckered into a smile.Olive in Italy
- 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 shrivelled
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper