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[wiz-uh n; wee-zuh n]British Dialect
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to wither; shrivel; dry up.
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  1. wizened.
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Origin of wizen

before 900; (v.) Middle English wisenen, Old English wisnian; cognate with Old Norse visna to wither; (adj.) shortened form of wizened
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for wizen

Historical Examples

  • His face was wizen and wrinkled, his faded blue eyes dim and weak-looking.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • And, if he mentioned who he was, could not the wizen man by his side help him to get at them?

    Hide and Seek

    Wilkie Collins

  • Withered and wizen, they are reduced to skin and bone by sheer famine.

  • His fingers crooked, his body in a bow, his wizen, cruel face pallid in the ghostly light.

    The Sleuth of St. James's Square

    Melville Davisson Post

  • On the contrary, Dallas' evident interest in the stranger had stirred the unnatural jealousy in her father's wizen brain.

    The Plow-Woman

    Eleanor Gates

British Dictionary definitions for wizen


  1. to make or become shrivelled
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  1. a variant of wizened
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Word Origin

Old English wisnian; related to Old Norse visna, Old High German wesanēn


  1. an archaic word for weasand
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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 wizen


Old English wisnian, weosnian "to wither," cognate with Old Norse visna, Old High German wesanen "to dry up, shrivel, wither;" German verwesen "to decay, rot." Related: Wizened.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper