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

Definition of shrivel

intransitive verb

1 : to draw into wrinkles especially with a loss of moisture
2a : to become reduced to inanition, helplessness, or inefficiency
b : dwindle

transitive verb

: to cause to shrivel

Examples of shrivel in a Sentence

plants shriveling in the heat

Recent Examples on the Web

But having decided to stick with trading, his position is more difficult given how fees have shriveled and regulatory costs continue to rise. Washington Post, "Barclays Management Shakeup Is a Win for Bramson," 18 Sep. 2019 Granting rights outside the human sphere would shrivel the robustness of the concept much as wild inflation devalues currency. Wesley J. Smith, National Review, "Chimpanzee Liberation? Why Animal Rights and Human Rights Cannot Coexist," 15 Aug. 2019 But without that triumph at Wembley, the crowds would have shrivelled., "Sir Alex Ferguson: The Serial Winner Whose Trophy Haul Rewrote Football History," 16 Aug. 2019 No dryness, no cracking, no lip peelies dangling about, no shriveled sad looking lips. Braelyn Wood,, "The Laneige Lip Mask Is so Hydrating, I haven't had Chapped Lips in Three Years," 15 Aug. 2019 Her brain was shriveled and filled with clumps of proteins—which scientists later identified as amyloid beta and tau. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "There are a lot of promising blood tests for Alzheimer’s—here’s how to keep track," 1 Aug. 2019 When the mermaid was presented to Barnum, he was immediately taken with the shrivelled creature. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, "What P. T. Barnum Understood About America," 29 July 2019 If any of your answers to these questions is no, your markets may shrivel. Fortune, "We Don’t Live on 1.75 Earths—but We Act Like We Do," 29 July 2019 During the current season, Univision’s prime-time audience has shriveled to 1.3 million viewers. Meg James,, "Univision owners want to sell. After 12 years and $13 billion, what went wrong?," 15 July 2019

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

1565, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for shrivel

origin unknown

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Statistics for shrivel

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for shrivel

The first known use of shrivel was in 1565

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English Language Learners Definition of shrivel

: to become dry and wrinkled from heat, cold, or old age
: to cause (something) to become dry and wrinkled


shriv·​el | \ ˈshri-vəl How to pronounce shrivel (audio) \
shriveled or shrivelled; shriveling or shrivelling

Kids Definition of shrivel

: to shrink and become dry and wrinkled

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More from Merriam-Webster on shrivel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shrivel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shrivel

Spanish Central: Translation of shrivel

Nglish: Translation of shrivel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shrivel for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shrivel

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


to spread over or through

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