- to shrivel; fade; decay: The grapes had withered on the vine.
- to lose the freshness of youth, as from age (often followed by away).
- to make flaccid, shrunken, or dry, as from loss of moisture; cause to lose freshness, bloom, vigor, etc.: The drought withered the buds.
- to affect harmfully: Reputations were withered by the scandal.
- to abash, as by a scathing glance: a look that withered him.
Origin of wither
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for withering
In the end, Hollow pulled out a withering attack that outpaced Budden both in speed and viciousness.America’s Poets: Battle Rap Gets Real
July 15, 2014
“Rather whip up a soufflé”—a wonderful compliment or a withering dis?Bill O’Reilly Disses His Fellow Fox Newsers
June 19, 2014
Brzezinski was withering, however, asking de Blasio outright, “Why are you hostile to charters?”Bill de Blasio Enters the Lions Den of ‘Morning Joe’
March 10, 2014
After the film opened to withering reviews, his despair was complete.Doug Kenney: The Odd Comic Genius Behind ‘Animal House’ and National Lampoon
Robert Sam Anson
March 1, 2014
At the same time, Walter White—the father who wants to protect and provide for his family—is withering as well.‘Granite State,’ the Penultimate Episode of ‘Breaking Bad,’ Is Walter White’s Final Act
September 23, 2013
"That's Episcopal," Pee-wee said with withering superiority!Pee-wee Harris
Percy Keese Fitzhugh
The hair was sandy; half of it had been burned to the scalp in a withering flame.Two Thousand Miles Below
Charles Willard Diffin
They seem to see the withering effect of criticism on original genius.Phaedrus
But to his field repaired each day to view his withering crop.The Universal Reciter
The elaborate sarcasm of these questions was intended to be withering.The Woman-Haters
Joseph C. Lincoln
- (intr) (esp of a plant) to droop, wilt, or shrivel up
- (intr often foll by away) to fade or wasteall hope withered away
- (intr) to decay, decline, or disintegrate
- (tr) to cause to wilt, fade, or lose vitality
- (tr) to abash, esp with a scornful look
- (tr) to harm or damage
Word Origin and History for withering
1530s, alteration of Middle English wydderen "dry up, shrivel" (c.1300), apparently a differentiated and special use of wederen "to expose to weather" (see weather). Cf. German verwittern "to become weather-beaten," from Witter "weather."