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See more synonyms for wither on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to shrivel; fade; decay: The grapes had withered on the vine.
  2. to lose the freshness of youth, as from age (often followed by away).
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make flaccid, shrunken, or dry, as from loss of moisture; cause to lose freshness, bloom, vigor, etc.: The drought withered the buds.
  2. to affect harmfully: Reputations were withered by the scandal.
  3. to abash, as by a scathing glance: a look that withered him.
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Origin of wither

1250–1300; Middle English, perhaps variant of weather (v.)
Related formswith·ered·ness, nounwith·er·er, nounwith·er·ing·ly, adverbnon·with·er·ing, adjectiveo·ver·with·ered, adjectiveun·with·ered, adjectiveun·with·er·ing, adjective
Can be confusedweather whether whither wither (see synonym study at the current entry)whither wither


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. wrinkle, shrink, dry, decline, languish, droop, waste. Wither, shrivel imply a shrinking, wilting, and wrinkling. Wither (of plants and flowers) is to dry up, shrink, wilt, fade, whether as a natural process or as the result of exposure to excessive heat or drought: Plants withered in the hot sun. Shrivel, used of thin, flat objects and substances, such as leaves, the skin, etc., means to curl, roll up, become wrinkled: The leaves shrivel in cold weather. Paper shrivels in fire. 5. humiliate, shame.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for unwithered

Historical Examples

  • She should find them all dewy and unwithered in her bridal crown.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • To be most satisfactory, endive should be bought when it is fresh and unwithered and kept until used in a cool, damp place.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 2

    Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

  • Every thing around them smiled, and their yet unwithered hopes were alive to every delightful impression.

  • His child could there grow up, unwithered by the associations of her mother's disgrace.

  • The largest of the trees, though scorched about the base, still stood with unwithered foliage, little harmed by the fire.

    Into the Primitive

    Robert Ames Bennet

British Dictionary definitions for unwithered


  1. (intr) (esp of a plant) to droop, wilt, or shrivel up
  2. (intr often foll by away) to fade or wasteall hope withered away
  3. (intr) to decay, decline, or disintegrate
  4. (tr) to cause to wilt, fade, or lose vitality
  5. (tr) to abash, esp with a scornful look
  6. (tr) to harm or damage
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Derived Formswithered, adjectivewitherer, nounwithering, adjectivewitheringly, adverb

Word Origin

C14: perhaps variant of weather (vb); related to German verwittern to decay
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 unwithered



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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper