perish

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verb per·ish \ˈper-ish, ˈpe-rish\

Definition of perish

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 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

  3. 2 chiefly British :  deteriorate, spoil

  4. transitive verb
  5. 1 chiefly British :  to cause to die :  destroy

  6. 2 :  weaken, benumb

Examples of perish in a Sentence

  1. Two people perished in the fire.

  2. The sailors perished at sea.

  3. The civilization perished after 500 years.

  4. Many ancient languages have perished over time.

  5. The rubber will perish with age.

Recent Examples of perish from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of perish

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


First Known Use: 13th century



PERISH Defined for English Language Learners

perish

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verb

Definition of perish for English Language Learners

  • : to die or be killed

  • : to disappear or be destroyed : to cease to exist

  • : to slowly break apart by a natural process


PERISH Defined for Kids

perish

play
verb per·ish \ˈper-ish\

Definition of perish for Students

perished

;

perishing

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



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