[ with-er ]
See 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).

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.

  1. to abash, as by a scathing glance: a look that withered him.

Origin of wither

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, perhaps variant of weather (verb)

synonym study For wither

1. 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.

Other words for wither

Other words from wither

  • with·ered·ness, noun
  • with·er·er, noun
  • with·er·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·with·er·ing, adjective
  • o·ver·with·ered, adjective
  • un·with·ered, adjective
  • un·with·er·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with wither

Words Nearby wither

Other definitions for Wither (2 of 2)

[ with-er ]

  1. George, 1588–1667, English poet and pamphleteer.

  • Also With·ers [with-erz]. /ˈwɪð ərz/.

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

How to use wither in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for wither


/ (ˈwɪðə) /

  1. (intr) (esp of a plant) to droop, wilt, or shrivel up

  2. (intr often foll by away) to fade or waste: all hope withered away

  1. (intr) to decay, decline, or disintegrate

  2. (tr) to cause to wilt, fade, or lose vitality

  3. (tr) to abash, esp with a scornful look

  4. (tr) to harm or damage

Origin of wither

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

Derived forms of wither

  • withered, adjective
  • witherer, noun
  • withering, adjective
  • witheringly, adverb

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