\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for wilt

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of wilt in a Sentence

Verb The hot weather wilted the plants. The crowd wilted in the heat. He wilted under the pressure.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Treat them as a flavoring in your favorite vegetarian frittata or wilt the leaves to add to an easy weeknight stir-fry. Catherine Lo, Good Housekeeping, "What Are Ramps, Anyway? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 7 May 2020 Watch for signs of disease like discoloring, wilting and insect damage. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What you should know if you're starting a garden in the Milwaukee area," 30 Apr. 2020 Salad greens, which wilt fast, aren’t always the most practical purchase. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "An Invigorating Spring Salad—Even if Your Produce Isn’t Looking Lively," 8 Apr. 2020 The leaves wilt more quickly than the stalks and will last only two or three days, max, especially if detached from the rest of the plant. Catherine Lo, Good Housekeeping, "What Are Ramps, Anyway? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 7 May 2020 It was returned to me with its chiffon over-layer in shreds and my previously thriving silk buds were rumpled, drooping, and wilted—like a flower bed dug up by the neighbor’s dog. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Everything You Need to Know About Caring for Vintage Garments," 16 Mar. 2020 About 300 students of Gujarat's Sola Bhagwat School arrived at 8 a.m. and by midday were wilting in the sun, listlessly waving U.S. and Indian flags. oregonlive, "Donald Trump greets largest crowd of political career in India," 24 Feb. 2020 Ladle hot tarka-dal over and stir until spinach starts to wilt. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "This Technique Takes a Recipe From Ordinary to Electrifying," 22 Jan. 2020 My Friend Emma wilted from the fast pace and finished last, and What a View also faded to end up sixth. Larry Stumes, SFChronicle.com, "Mugaritz wins Berkeley Handicap in graded stakes debut at Golden Gate Fields," 30 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While the general public wilts in the heat in interminable lines, Schwartz’s family and other visitors who have paid a premium price simply circumvent the queues. Kanishk Tharoor, The New Republic, "The Exclusivity Economy," 21 Apr. 2020 The biggest source of food waste in America is households, where produce wilts, milk spoils, and leftovers lurk at the back of the fridge until they are tossed. National Geographic, "Food insecurity and bottlenecks," 30 Mar. 2020 Other oil majors have already pulled back on spending as energy demand wilts and job cuts in the oil patch have already begun. Dallas News, "Tracking the fallout: Chevron, GM, Intel act to conserve cash and the G7 makes bold pledge," 24 Mar. 2020 The camera keeps rolling and through the inexorable march of time, the burger sits, the lettuce wilts, the tomato droops, and mold grows on the burger. Melissa Locker, Time, "Burger King Wants You to See How Moldy This Whopper Can Get Thanks to the March of Time," 19 Feb. 2020 Not all cyclamen do it, but watch for any wilt and quickly water the plant at the base. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "Winter gardening issues facing San Antonio yards and what to do about them," 2 Jan. 2020 Earlier this year, laurel wilt disease was detected in trees in Montgomery, Cheatham, Dickson and Williamson counties. USA TODAY, "Loveland valentines, crime scene towels, corn trail: News from around our 50 states," 9 Jan. 2020 Laurel wilt is a fungal disease transmitted by the wood-boring redbay ambrosia beetle. USA TODAY, "Hershey beer, sassafras sickness, demolition mystery: News from around our 50 states," 3 Oct. 2019 In this heat little keeps— see how your hat wilts, held over your heart to honor today the dead who cannot say, yet still share your name. Kevin Young, The New Republic, "Mason Jar," 21 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wilt

Time Traveler for wilt

Time Traveler

The first known use of wilt was circa 1691

See more words from the same year

Statistics for wilt

Cite this Entry

“Wilt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wilt. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for wilt


How to pronounce wilt (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wilt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

old-fashioned used with "thou"


How to pronounce wilt (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on wilt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wilt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wilt

Spanish Central: Translation of wilt

Nglish: Translation of wilt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wilt

Comments on wilt

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!