\wəlt, ˈwilt\

Definition of wilt 

(Entry 1 of 3)

archaic present tense second-person singular of will


\ˈwilt \
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 \

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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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

With a heat wave bearing down on Southern California, officials from San Diego Gas & Electric and the managers of the state’s electric grid are working to make sure the power system doesn’t wilt. Rob Nikolewski, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Heat wave puts Southern California power grid under pressure," 5 July 2018 Best of all, while real flowers inevitably droop and wilt (even with these strategies that make cut flowers last longer in a vase), your tissue paper tulips and paper roses never will. Kathleen Corlett, Good Housekeeping, "How To Make Paper Flowers That Are Even More Stunning Than The Real Thing," 31 Aug. 2017 In the face of stiff resistance, many of the initiative’s signatories went quiet, support wilted and progress slowed. Tik Root, Newsweek, "An Evangelical Movement Takes On Climate Change," 9 Mar. 2016 Add arugula and cooked shrimp to sauté pan, and gently toss until arugula is wilted, about 1 minute. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Table for 1: For solo diners, cooking at home offers many perks," 12 July 2018 Warm, wet soil encourages Phytophthora and Fusarium wilt, two fungal diseases that kill plants, especially those in the Protea family such as Grevillea, pincushions (Leucospermum), conebushes (Leucadendron), Banksia, Protea, Hakea and others. Nan Sterman, latimes.com, "What to do in your garden in July? Less is more," 6 July 2018 And unlike my grain bowl or other meal-planning attempts, I’m not bored by it yet, because the flavors have remained punchy and none of the ingredients have gotten sad and wilted. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "Chrissy Teigen and I Would like You to Try This Sheet-Pan Meal," 29 June 2018 Barkley unleashed a furious, thunderous F-bomb that split the air and wilted the ears of every mom in that arena. azcentral, "Arizona Republic staff's best memories of 1992-93 Phoenix Suns," 16 June 2018 The chicken held on to some of its moisture beneath wilted skin ($6 for a half). Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "52 Weeks of BBQ: Bun ’N’ Barrel," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Their feeding can transmit wilt and mosaic viruses to your plants. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Control Pesky Cucumber Beetles In Your Garden," 1 June 2017 And Fisher neither wilts under the camera’s scrutiny nor succumbs to the temptation to stare it down. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Review: Bo Burnham's 'Eighth Grade' is a beautifully honest portrait of adolescent girlhood," 11 July 2018 First, there are two general types of common tomato diseases — vascular wilts and foliar diseases. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Tomato — the 'luscious beauty' of the garden and how to fight diseases," 8 June 2018 The plant grows a big leaf each year which wilts and then becomes dormant. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stinky corpse flower draws crowds to Domes for glimpse and whiff," 13 June 2018 Fusarium + Verticillium Wilt These fungal wilts attack a wide range of flowers, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Grow Healthy Food By Identifying + Treating These Common Plant Diseases," 21 July 2015

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

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 \
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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