wilt

1 of 3
wəlt,
ˈwilt How to pronounce wilt (audio)

archaic present tense second-person singular of will

wilt

2 of 3

verb

wilted; wilting; wilts

intransitive verb

1
a
: 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

wilt

3 of 3

noun

1
: an act or instance of wilting : the state of being wilted
2
a
: 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

Examples of wilt in a Sentence

Verb The hot weather wilted the plants. The crowd wilted in the heat. He wilted under the pressure.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The farro from the other night gets new life with lemon zest, wilted spinach, feta, roasted mushrooms, and red onions. Bon Appétit Contributor, Bon Appétit, 4 Apr. 2024 Take a moment to comb through leaves and see if there’s any damage, discoloration, yellow browning leaves or wilting. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 20 Mar. 2024 Yet his career, running roughly from the 1930s to the early 2000’s, also included advertising work for clients ranging from General Foods to Clinique, American laborers at work, abstract nudes, American street life and eclectic visages of everything from wilting flowers to garbage and street signs. Randy McMullen, The Mercury News, 20 Mar. 2024 There were cardboard boxes wilted with moisture, newspapers in short stacks, unused gardening tools hanging on the walls. Zach Williams, The New Yorker, 18 Mar. 2024 Add the butter lettuce, spinach, watercress, arugula and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are wilted. Bethany Thayer, Detroit Free Press, 16 Mar. 2024 Add spinach and garlic cloves; cook until spinach has darkened and wilted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 15 Mar. 2024 The common signs of drought and heat stress are wilting, drying or browning leaves, sun scorch on branches and trunks, and an overall look of dehydration. Caralin Nunes, The Arizona Republic, 18 Mar. 2024 The leafy greens — spinach, butter lettuce, arugula and watercress — will wilt quickly when they’re placed in liquid. Bethany Thayer, Detroit Free Press, 16 Mar. 2024
Noun
As long as there isn’t an unforeseen hard freeze, which would cause petals to wilt, the highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s should help extend the blossoms’ shelf life. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, 17 Mar. 2024 As soon as the kale wilts slightly and turns brighter green, remove from the heat and toss with a dash of sherry vinegar. Laura McLively, The Mercury News, 23 Jan. 2024 Shake the pan and when the escarole starts to wilt, turn off heat. Claudia Alexander, Hartford Courant, 9 Jan. 2024 Remove from heat; let stand, covered, until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 6 Nov. 2023 Add kale; use tongs to toss mixture until kale wilts, about 3 minutes. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 22 Sep. 2023 Here are some common issues: Curling Leaves Bacterial wilt is the most likely culprit of curling leaves. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 22 Aug. 2023 That means the plant germinates, sprouts, grows, blooms, wilts, and dies within a singular growing season (usually from spring to the following winter). Kate McGregor, House Beautiful, 2 Aug. 2023 Bacterial wilt occurs when soil temperatures rise, causing rapid yellowing and spotting on leaves. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 22 Aug. 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1855, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of wilt was circa 1691

Dictionary Entries Near wilt

Cite this Entry

“Wilt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wilt. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

wilt

1 of 3
wəlt How to pronounce wilt (audio)
(ˈ)wilt

archaic present 2nd singular of will

wilt

2 of 3 verb
1
: to lose or cause to lose freshness and become limp : droop
wilting roses
2
: to grow weak or faint
was wilting after hours of dancing

wilt

3 of 3 noun
: a plant disease (as one caused by a fungus) marked by wilting of the soft parts of the plant

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