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wither

[with-er]
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

Synonyms

See more synonyms for wither 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.

Wither

[with-er]
noun
  1. George,1588–1667, English poet and pamphleteer.
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Also With·ers [with-erz] /ˈwɪð ərz/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wither

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • We never see Him bring the bud to the eve of blossoming just to wither it.

  • Keats and Wither will serve as examples with which to finish our argument.

    The Lyric

    John Drinkwater

  • In spite of all that has been said Keats takes higher rank as poet than Wither?

    The Lyric

    John Drinkwater

  • They will not wither in the least if kept out of direct sunshine for a few days.

  • If I had I would use it all to scorch and wither this talking of surrender.


British Dictionary definitions for wither

wither

verb
  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 wither

v.

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