mildew

noun
mil·dew | \ˈmil-ˌdü, -ˌdyü\

Definition of mildew 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a superficial usually whitish growth produced especially on organic matter or living plants by fungi (as of the families Erysiphaceae and Peronosporaceae)

b : a fungus producing mildew

2 : a discoloration caused by fungi

mildew

verb
mildewed; mildewing; mildews

Definition of mildew (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to affect with or as if with mildew

intransitive verb

: to become affected with mildew

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Other Words from mildew

Noun

mildewy \ \ adjective

Examples of mildew in a Sentence

Noun

The basement's damp walls were covered with mildew.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Avoid buying crape myrtles if the nursery does not have a chart reporting mildew resistance. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "There’s a lot to love about crape myrtles," 6 July 2018 Soak them in a diluted bleach solution at least every week and toss upon any signs of mold or mildew. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Test Your Housekeeping Knowledge: How Gross Are Your Cleaning Habits?," 10 July 2018 The building closure came as employees had noted the pungent mildew smell on the Merc’s third floor had spread to the second floor newsroom. Bob Fernandez, Philly.com, "Digital First Media closes mold-ridden Pottstown Mercury building," 4 June 2018 Towel-dry down to the skin to prevent mildew stink or hot spots. Kim Campbell Thornton, sacbee, "Hiking or camping with your dogs? How to keep them safe," 11 July 2018 Be sure to get around the drain and all of the grooves at the base of the faucet to remove mold, mildew, and bacteria. Mandy Ferreira, Good Housekeeping, "13 Amazingly Useful Things You Can Do With Tea Tree Essential Oil," 27 July 2017 Originally, the mural was painted directly on the ceiling; within a few years, however, the roof began to leak, and mildew soon obscured the imagery. Keith Williams, New York Times, "What Is That Spot on the Ceiling of Grand Central Terminal?," 7 June 2018 The drywall has peeled away over the years and there’s a pungent mildew smell. Zahria Rogers, The Courier-Journal, "City will revive a famed Russell chapel to tell 'a complete narrative'," 15 June 2018 In their locker room the colors of mildew, chlorine and athlete’s foot (Angrette McCloskey did the spot-on set), Brigham’s Amy initially seems the classic cool kid, all aggressive unconcern peppered with a few blase cruelties. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Young womanhood sopping wet with bodily fluids in Shotgun’s ‘Dry Land’," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Of course, that is a gift that expires, one that quickly mildews into a curse. Richard Lawson, Vanities, "Chloë Grace Moretz and Brooklyn Beckham’s Reunion Proves Young Love Is Complicated," 9 Oct. 2017 Of course, that is a gift that expires, one that quickly mildews into a curse. Richard Lawson, vanityfair.com, "Chloë Grace Moretz and Brooklyn Beckham’s Reunion Proves Young Love Is Complicated," 9 Oct. 2017 On a recent day, the inside walls of the home were mildewed and the clothes still in the closet were showing spots. Mimi Whitefield, miamiherald, "Cuban fishing village made famous by Hemingway busy with recovery efforts after Irma," 5 Oct. 2017 The piles up and down this street, and along many other nearby streets — shards of wallboard and mildewing carpet, artificial flowers and computer monitors — stand taller than some people. Alan Blinder, The Seattle Times, "Hauling away Harvey’s debris an enormous, urgent task," 6 Sep. 2017 The piles up and down this street, and along many other nearby streets — shards of wallboard and mildewing carpet, artificial flowers and computer monitors — stand taller than some people. John Schwartz And Alan Blinder, New York Times, "An Enormous, Urgent Task: Hauling Away Harvey’s Debris," 6 Sep. 2017 For the past 20 years, my husband, Alex, and I—West Coast transplants and die-hard beach people—have spent a ridiculous amount of money to rent a mildewing summer house on the tip of Long Island. Rebecca Misner, CNT, "For the Ultimate Mediterranean Sailing Trip, Ditch the Captain and Crew," 20 July 2017 Any worn out, or damaged material that is mildewed or dirty. Sharon Hlapcich, Orange County Register, "Race to benefit Anaheim’s adopted Marine unit," 11 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mildew.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mildew

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1552, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for mildew

Noun

Middle English, from Old English meledēaw honeydew; akin to Old High German militou honeydew

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Statistics for mildew

Last Updated

28 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mildew

The first known use of mildew was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for mildew

mildew

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mildew

: a usually white substance that grows on the surface of things in wet, warm conditions

mildew

noun
mil·dew | \ˈmil-ˌdü, -ˌdyü\

Kids Definition of mildew

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a thin whitish growth produced by a fungus especially on decaying material or on living plants

2 : a fungus producing mildew

mildew

verb
mildewed; mildewing

Kids Definition of mildew (Entry 2 of 2)

: to become affected with mildew

mildew

noun
mil·dew | \ˈmil-ˌd(y)ü \

Medical Definition of mildew 

1 : a superficial usually whitish growth produced especially on organic matter or living plants by fungi (as of the families Erysiphaceae and Peronosporaceae)

2 : a fungus producing mildew

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Comments on mildew

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