perish

verb
per·​ish | \ ˈper-ish How to pronounce perish (audio) , ˈpe-rish\
perished; perishing; perishes

Definition of perish

intransitive verb

1 : to become destroyed or ruined : cease to exist recollection of a past already long since perished— Philip Sherrard guard against your mistakes or your attempts (perish the thought) to cheat— C. B. Davis
2 chiefly British : deteriorate, spoil

transitive verb

1 chiefly British : to cause to die : destroy
2 : weaken, benumb

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Synonyms & Antonyms for perish

Synonyms

check out, conk (out), croak [slang], decease, demise, depart, die, drop, end, exit, expire, fall, flatline, go, kick in [slang], kick off [slang], part, pass (on), pass away, peg out [chiefly British], pop off, step out, succumb

Antonyms

breathe, live

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Examples of perish in a Sentence

Two people perished in the fire. The sailors perished at sea. The civilization perished after 500 years. Many ancient languages have perished over time. The rubber will perish with age.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While all this is happening, Toby is secretly recreating the toy football stadium that perished in the Pearson fire. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This is Us Season 3 Episode 10: Randall Wins the Race as He and Beth Reach an Impasse," 16 Jan. 2019 The melodies and memories remain; the buildings often perish. John Petkovic, cleveland.com, "Cleveland rock 'n' roll landmarks that made history: a tour (photos)," 13 Apr. 2018 Her husband and son also perished in the process, according to the defense. Tom Hays, The Seattle Times, "‘El Chapo’ consort opens up about cartels’ ruthlessness," 4 Dec. 2018 His grandfather’s entire family perished in the Holocaust. Dina Kraft, The Christian Science Monitor, "Israel at 70: A tale of two histories," 1 May 2018 His father escaped Europe before World War II, but the rest of the family perished. CBS News, "Violins of Hope," 6 Dec. 2015 The family perished in a fire set by White, then 18, on New Year's Eve 1975. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana woman convicted of killing 6 continues fight for freedom," 11 June 2015 When Hughes died suddenly in 2000, his unrealized plans perished too. Alex Bhattacharji, Town & Country, "An Empty Lot Above Beverly Hills Is the Most Expensive Real Estate in the World," 17 Jan. 2019 Ghosts are said to haunt the Oriental Theater (formerly the Iroquois Theater) in the Loop area of downtown Chicago, where almost 600 people perished when a fire famously broke out in 1903. Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Most Haunted Cities In America and Why You Should Visit," 18 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perish.' 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 perish

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for perish

Middle English perisshen, from Anglo-French periss-, stem of perir, from Latin perire, from per- detrimentally + ire to go — more at per-, issue entry 1

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Statistics for perish

Last Updated

24 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for perish

The first known use of perish was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for perish

perish

verb

English Language Learners Definition of perish

formal + literary : to die or be killed
formal : to disappear or be destroyed : to cease to exist
British : to slowly break apart by a natural process

perish

verb
per·​ish | \ ˈper-ish How to pronounce perish (audio) \
perished; perishing

Kids Definition of perish

: to become destroyed : die Dinosaurs perished long ago. The language slowly perished.

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More from Merriam-Webster on perish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with perish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perish

Spanish Central: Translation of perish

Nglish: Translation of perish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perish for Arabic Speakers

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