\ 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb High humidity is best for foods that wilt in the fridge, like broccoli, carrots, and green onions. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 July 2022 Overwatering issues causes leaves to wilt and turn yellow with brown tips. oregonlive, 18 June 2022 The outer, darker green leaves are softer and often wilt. Robin Miller, USA TODAY, 7 June 2022 But once the candles flicker out, the flowers wilt and the media goes chasing another story, the grief that endures in the Buffalos and Uvaldes and Parklands and Newtowns becomes harder to represent. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, 2 June 2022 Lasky also notes that plants are great for warmer climates and a far better alternative to flowers which will easily wilt in the heat. Amanda Lauren, Forbes, 23 May 2021 Bacon that isn’t wrapped in plastic quickly discolors, salad leaves wilt and unwrapped cucumbers rot more quickly. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, 17 June 2022 In addition, lawns brown early, gardens begin to wilt, surface water levels decline, and crop growth is stunted. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 3 June 2022 But the Commodores, who had scored 43 runs in their previous three games, wouldn’t wilt. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, 6 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bacterial wilt disease, transmitted by cucumber beetles is the prime suspect for crop failure in this instance. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 9 June 2022 These beetles can transmit diseases like bacterial wilt and viruses, none of which are curable. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 9 June 2022 For now, County Fair is the only available variety resistant to bacterial wilt. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 9 June 2022 Unlike plants getting too much water, the dry plants will recover from the slight wilt quickly. Chris Mckeown, The Enquirer, 14 May 2022 The Marglobe has a strong disease resistance to Fusarium wilt and Nailhead rust, which plagued Florida tomato growers. Jeff Quattrone, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Jan. 2022 Pine wilt is a serious disease caused by microscopic roundworms, or nematodes, that are carried from tree to tree in spring by pine sawyer beetles. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, 25 Dec. 2021 Your leaves could be sun burned, or could have tomato blight or tomato wilt. oregonlive, 21 Aug. 2021 In the last five-plus years, the wilt has taken over. BostonGlobe.com, 15 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About wilt

Statistics for wilt

Cite this Entry

“Wilt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wilt. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for wilt


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on wilt

Nglish: Translation of wilt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wilt


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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