[ per-ish ]
/ ˈpɛr ɪʃ /

verb (used without object)

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.

Idioms for 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


per·ish·less, adjectiveper·ish·ment, nounun·per·ished, adjective

synonym study for perish

1. See die1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perished

British Dictionary definitions for perished (1 of 2)

/ (ˈpɛrɪʃt) /


informal (of a person, part of the body, etc) extremely cold

British Dictionary definitions for perished (2 of 2)

/ (ˈpɛrɪʃ) /

verb (intr)

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

Word Origin for perish

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

Idioms and Phrases with perished


In addition to the idiom beginning with perish

  • perish the thought

also see:

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