shriv·​el ˈshri-vəl How to pronounce shrivel (audio)
 especially Southern  ˈsri-
shriveled or shrivelled; shriveling or shrivelling ˈshri-vəl-iŋ How to pronounce shrivel (audio)

intransitive verb

: to draw into wrinkles especially with a loss of moisture
: to become reduced to inanition, helplessness, or inefficiency

transitive verb

: to cause to shrivel

Examples of shrivel in a Sentence

plants shriveling in the heat
Recent Examples on the Web Transfer to the oven and roast until the vegetables are charred in spots and softened, and their skin shrivels, 35 to 40 minutes. Lynda Balslev, The Mercury News, 24 June 2024 Avoid choosing potatoes that have green spots or are soft, moldy, or shriveled. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 June 2024 An unforgettable figure, larger than life (though sickness had shriveled his body). Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 18 June 2024 Fruits that are incompletely pollinated will shrivel and die. Dawn Pettinelli, Hartford Courant, 9 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for shrivel 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shrivel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1565, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of shrivel was in 1565

Dictionary Entries Near shrivel

Cite this Entry

“Shrivel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


shriv·​el ˈshriv-əl How to pronounce shrivel (audio)
shriveled or shrivelled; shriveling or shrivelling -(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce shrivel (audio)
: to shrink and become dry and wrinkled
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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