- 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
Synonyms for perish
1. See die1.
Antonyms for perish
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- 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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
In addition to the idiom beginning with perish
- perish the thought
- 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.