\ 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

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Examples of wilt in a Sentence

Verb 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 Usually when the 3-pointer isn’t falling, the Celtics wilt. BostonGlobe.com, "When the going got tough, the Celtics got going," 11 Apr. 2021 Cook, stirring, until the onions are beginning to wilt, 2 minutes, then add in the bacon and thyme and continue to cook until the onions are soft, 2 minutes more. Jessica Battilana, San Francisco Chronicle, "Spring onions and bacon jump-start this easy breezy tart," 9 Apr. 2021 But McCracken County didn’t wilt down the stretch, getting stellar play from Ian Hart and hitting 8 of 11 free throws to seal a 68-56 victory over the Chargers in the first round of the state tournament at Rupp Arena. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "McCracken County knocks off Bullitt East in first round of KHSAA Boys Sweet 16," 1 Apr. 2021 Barty didn't wilt, ousting Sabalenka 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 for her third three-set win in four matches at the tournament. Tim Reynolds, ajc, "Barty, Medvedev rise to challenge on tough day at Miami Open," 31 Mar. 2021 The Camels didn’t wilt after the Cardinals big first-half run. James Weber, The Enquirer, "Kentucky high school basketball: Campbell County falls at the buzzer in 10th Region final," 28 Mar. 2021 Rennese Hogue, on her father, the first African American to receive a full athletic scholarship to the University of Georgia: When the cold weather started to come in around December, the plant started to wilt and turn yellow and brown. Emily Davies, Washington Post, "D.C.’s Lost Year: How the pandemic upended lives and businesses across a region," 16 Mar. 2021 The water will quickly convert to steam to form a dome of enclosed heat that will quickly cook bulkier vegetables like broccoli or fennel and wilt big piles of greens. Christina Chaey, Bon Appétit, "For Better Steaming and Roasting, Just Add Water," 18 Mar. 2021 So, how can a truly great enterprise resource planning (ERP) system allow a business to bloom rather than wilt? Joel Patterson, Forbes, "Watch Your Business Bloom: Digital Transformation Via An ERP," 25 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Inland gardeners are more likely to see fusarium wilt (F). Pam Peirce, San Francisco Chronicle, "10 steps to Bay Area tomato success right now," 2 Apr. 2021 Pests and Diseases: The most common problems for cilantro are fungal wilt, leaf hoppers, aphids, whiteflies, and mildew. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "The Proper Way to Care for Your Cilantro Plant, Especially If You're Growing From Seed," 26 May 2020 Control insects by using antibacterial soap, and clean up debris or dead leaves to combat wilt and mildew. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "The Proper Way to Care for Your Cilantro Plant, Especially If You're Growing From Seed," 26 May 2020 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

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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Statistics for wilt

Cite this Entry

“Wilt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wilt. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wilt

Nglish: Translation of wilt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wilt

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