- 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 for shrivel 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 shriveling
The deficit, which peaked at an unimaginable $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2010, is shriveling by the day.Why Didn't Obama Tout How Great the Economy Is Doing?
January 29, 2014
Social conservatism is part of the shriveling slice of the pie that the GOP must somehow transcend.The GOP’s Last Stand Against Gay Marriage
November 7, 2012
Network audience share is dwindling, advertising revenue is shriveling, and the once-flush news divisions are pinching pennies.Inside Ted Koppel's ABC Negotiations
January 12, 2010
Flames licked at them greedily, touching and shriveling their flesh.Tess of the Storm Country
Grace Miller White
The face twisted in a sudden spasm, as if its brain were shriveling with heat.Out Like a Light
Gordon Randall Garrett
This will prevent the seeds from shriveling before they start to germinate.Your Plants
She had a sensation of shrinking, of shriveling up, inside her.The Camp Fire Girls at the End of the Trail
And since I have been living here in peace and plenty I am shriveling like an apple in springtime.Such is Life
- 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 shriveling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper