\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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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

Add spinach to the pot and gently toss until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Curry-Poached Salmon with Peppers," 16 Aug. 2018 In that absence, plants wilted and died, and clothes came out of the wash tinged in blue. Matt Sedensky, The Seattle Times, "‘I’m ashamed’: Americans blame Trump after Kansas City mom’s deportation," 23 July 2018 Look for rhubarb stalks that are crisp and not wilted. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Rhubarb: How to cook, store, freeze the perfect pie plant," 29 May 2018 A few more defensive heroics led by a man-of-the-match performance by Christopher Schindler came soon after, Huddersfield just wouldn't wilt. SI.com, "Chelsea 1-1 Huddersfield: Terriers Secure Premier League Status With Heroic Draw at Stamford Bridge," 9 May 2018 All of the vegetation is real, with the exception of the three-foot-tall grass, because real grass would wilt under the lights throughout days of filming. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Crazy Rich Asians Made Its Wedding-on-a-Budget Look Like $40 Million," 6 Sep. 2018 Be especially mindful of hollies, junipers and other plants that don’t wilt noticeably. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "The 'natural consequences' of playing the 'if' game when gardening | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 10 May 2018 Stir in greens; cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Jeanmarie Brownson, charlotteobserver, "Warm cheese meets fresh herbs in a happy springtime marriage," 19 June 2018 Spread out greens over grate (save bowl) and grill until lightly charred and just wilted, about 45 seconds per side. Molly Baz, Bon Appetit, "Pork Shoulder Steaks with Grilled Mustard Greens," 28 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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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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

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


a nest or breeding place

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