mildew

noun
mil·​dew | \ ˈmil-ˌdü How to pronounce mildew (audio) , -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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from mildew

Noun

mildewy \ ˈmil-​ˌdü-​ē How to pronounce mildew (audio) , -​ˌdyü-​ \ adjective

Examples of mildew in a Sentence

Noun The basement's damp walls were covered with mildew.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The mildew did not seem to bother the tomatoes, however. oregonlive, "Gardener seeks help for failing birch trees: Ask an expert," 31 Oct. 2020 This will help dry the wall in record time, which will prevent mildew stains and cut down on cleaning time later on. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "7 Little Things You Can Do Every Day to Keep Your Home Cleaner," 27 Oct. 2020 The mat is coated in an antimicrobial additive that helps prevent mould and mildew from building up. Zoe Malin, NBC News, "Best last-minute gifts 2020: Best last-minute holiday gift ideas," 16 Dec. 2020 Blast away grimy dirt and mildew from your patio, outdoor furniture, fences, driveways, and even cars and your stress will melt away. Jessica Boddy, Popular Science, "7 gifts to take the stress out of stress-cleaning," 16 Dec. 2020 Yellowing posters of bygone chess superstars are piled up, gathering dust and mildew. Inna Lazareva, Washington Post, "Georgian women ruled chess in the Soviet era. A new generation chases the same ‘Queen’s Gambit’ glory.," 13 Dec. 2020 Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to protect flooring against the wrath water can unleash (mold, mildew and decay, oh my!), no matter what kind of material is underfoot. Sarah Baird, House Beautiful, "Waterproofing," 14 Sep. 2020 Baking soda naturally absorbs moisture and also will help get rid of odor from mold and mildew. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Drying out the cash stash," 13 Nov. 2020 Wet or damp donations can breed mold or mildew and have to be thrown out. Julia M. Chan, CNN, "Ready to cut your long, quarantine hair? Consider donating it to charity," 7 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Issue: Mildew If the grout is mildewed or badly stained, mix a 50/50 solution of oxygen bleach and water, and apply it with a sponge or pump-up sprayer. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Clean Dirty Grout," 5 Dec. 2018 Residents have reported sagging porches, mildewing wood and leaky roofs. Fox News, "Brad Pitt's foundation facing lawsuit over degradation of New Orleans homes," 30 Aug. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mildew

Time Traveler for mildew

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for mildew

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mildew.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mildew. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mildew

mildew

noun
How to pronounce mildew (audio)

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 How to pronounce mildew (audio) , -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 How to pronounce mildew (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on mildew

Nglish: Translation of mildew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mildew

Comments on mildew

What made you want to look up mildew? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!