\ wəlt, ˈwilt How to pronounce wilt (audio) \

Definition of wilt

 (Entry 1 of 3)

archaic present tense second-person singular of will


\ ˈwilt How to pronounce wilt (audio) \
wilted; wilting; wilts

Definition of wilt (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to lose turgor from lack of water the plants wilted in the heat
b : to become limp
2 : to grow weak or faint : languish

transitive verb

: to cause to wilt


\ ˈwilt How to pronounce wilt (audio) \

Definition of wilt (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : an act or instance of wilting : the state of being wilted
2a : a disorder (such as a fungus disease) of plants marked by loss of turgidity in soft tissues with subsequent drooping and often shriveling

called also wilt disease

b : polyhedrosis of caterpillars

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Synonyms for wilt

Synonyms: Verb

droop, flag, hang, loll, sag, swag

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Examples of wilt in a Sentence


The hot weather wilted the plants. The crowd wilted in the heat. He wilted under the pressure.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At the station in the sleepy Provençal town of Orange, a high-speed TGV train was being held indefinitely due to forest fires farther down the track, and passengers were wilting in the stifling heat. The Economist, "Heat, water and plastic in France," 6 July 2019 Hamilton Pool, Texas After wilting in Texas' scorching heat, plunge into the depths of the Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs, Texas. Jennifer Adler, National Geographic, "10 perfect ways to cool off in the U.S.," 27 June 2019 Group stage wins against Scotland and Japan came with avoidable nervy finishes after wilting in the second half and gifting chances to their opponents through sloppy ball retention and a lack of game management. SI.com, "Women's World Cup QF Preview: Norway vs England - How to Watch, Live Stream, Team News & More," 26 June 2019 Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Fowler have had incandescent moments, but all have wilted in the manufactured glare. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "Brooks Koepka, Seeking a 3rd Straight U.S. Open Title, Could Be the Star Golf Needs," 13 June 2019 Just look at the way Madeline wilts in her presence in the second-season premiere, when Mary Louise almost immediately picks up on her existential dissatisfaction. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "Why Meryl Streep’s Sly Matriarch Works So Well on Big Little Lies," 11 June 2019 This time, in this College World Series opener, Texas Tech didn’t wilt. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Red Raiders hungry for more," 18 June 2018 But the metaphor and significance have just limply wilted from there. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Will the Direwolves Come Back on 'Game of Thrones'?," 12 May 2019 Their damage causes squash plants to suddenly wilt and die once the water and nutrient transport vessels have been eaten away. Melinda Myers, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Start early to prevent or minimize squash bugs," 23 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The tomato plant suddenly wilts and watering will not revive it. Dan Gill, nola.com, "Protect tomatoes from these diseases and pests," 13 Apr. 2019 Fusarium wilt, also known as yellows, produces yellow leaves and stunted heads. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Cabbage Is One Of The Easiest Vegetables To Grow In Your Garden," 24 May 2017 Some types are hosts for bacterial wilt disease, which is spread by cucumber beetles. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Growing Crisp Cucumbers," 12 July 2018 They are filled with a savory-sweet mixture of sauteed apple, onion and kale, done just enough so the apple becomes tender, the onion mellows and the kale wilts a bit. Ellie Krieger, The Seattle Times, "Big, juicy pork chops — stuffed and sauced with a flurry of fall flavors," 24 Sep. 2018 Bake until cheese melts and spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Spinach and Cheese Pita Pizzas with Tomato Salad," 16 Aug. 2018 Some types are hosts for bacterial wilt disease, which is spread by cucumber beetles. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need To Know About Growing Crisp Cucumbers," 19 May 2017 Don't confuse this disease with less-serious scurf, which creates small, round, dark spots on tuber surfaces but doesn't affect eating quality. Stem rot, or wilt, is a fungus that enters plants injured by insects, careless cultivation, or wind. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Perfect Sweet Potatoes In Your Backyard," 15 Mar. 2017 Fusarium wilt, a soilborne disease, is sometimes a problem in hot regions. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Your Complete Guide To Growing Okra," 21 Feb. 2018

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


circa 1691, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1855, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wilt


alteration of earlier welk, from Middle English welken, probably from Middle Dutch; akin to Old High German erwelkēn to wilt

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Time Traveler for wilt

The first known use of wilt was circa 1691

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More Definitions for wilt


English Language Learners Definition of wilt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

old-fashioned used with "thou"



English Language Learners Definition of wilt (Entry 2 of 2)

of a plant : to bend over because of not having enough water
: to become weak and tired especially because of hot weather
: to lose energy, confidence, effectiveness, etc.


\ ˈwilt How to pronounce wilt (audio) \
wilted; wilting

Kids Definition of wilt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to lose freshness and become limp The roses are wilting.
2 : to lose strength … Mr. Kamata's sturdy … smile was beginning to wilt.— Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Egypt Game



Kids Definition of wilt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a plant disease (as of tomatoes) in which wilting and browning of leaves leads to death of the plant

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More from Merriam-Webster on wilt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wilt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wilt

Spanish Central: Translation of wilt

Nglish: Translation of wilt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wilt

Comments on wilt

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food or victuals

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