[ wilt ]
See synonyms for: wiltwiltedwilting on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
  1. to become limp and drooping, as a fading flower; wither.

  2. to lose strength, vigor, assurance, etc.: to wilt after a day's hard work.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to wilt.

nounAlso wilt disease (for defs. 5b).
  1. the act of wilting, or the state of being wilted: a sudden wilt of interest in the discussion.

  2. Plant Pathology.

    • the drying out, drooping, and withering of the leaves of a plant due to inadequate water supply, excessive transpiration, or vascular disease.

    • a disease so characterized, as fusarium wilt.

  1. a virus disease of various caterpillars, characterized by the liquefaction of body tissues.

Origin of wilt

First recorded in 1685–95; dialectal variant of wilk “to wither,” itself variant of welk, Middle English welken, probably from Middle Dutch welken; compare German welk “withered”

Other words for wilt

Other definitions for wilt (2 of 2)

[ wilt ]

  1. second person singular present indicative of will1.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use wilt in a sentence

  • She felt as if the very roots of her spirit had been torn up and lay wilting and shrivelling in the cold light of her reason.

    The Californians | Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  • Thomas still maintained his control, although cold perspiration was wilting his highly polished collar.

    Lightnin' | Frank Bacon

British Dictionary definitions for wilt (1 of 2)


/ (wɪlt) /

  1. to become or cause to become limp, flaccid, or drooping: insufficient water makes plants wilt

  2. to lose or cause to lose courage, strength, etc

  1. (tr) to cook (a leafy vegetable) very briefly until it begins to collapse

  1. the act of wilting or state of becoming wilted

  2. any of various plant diseases characterized by permanent wilting, usually caused by fungal parasites attacking the roots

Origin of wilt

C17: perhaps variant of wilk to wither, from Middle Dutch welken

British Dictionary definitions for wilt (2 of 2)


/ (wɪlt) /

  1. archaic, or dialect (used with the pronoun thou or its relative equivalent) a singular form of the present tense (indicative mood) of will 1

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