\ 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

Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, until it is wilted, 2 minutes. Linda Gassenheimer, charlotteobserver, "Clams and spaghettini make an easy dinner for 2," 6 July 2018 Add 2 teaspoon salt to boiling water, then add collard leaves and cook until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Chicken Salad Collard Wrap," 11 June 2018 Ronaldo's four goals have accounted for all of Portugal's scoring and carried the side to the cusp of the last 16, but Iran showed its defensive resolve against Spain, wilting just enough in a 1-0 loss, and won't be awed by Portugal's cast of stars. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "LIVE: Iran, Portugal Battle in Group B Finale for World Cup Knockout Stage Berth," 25 June 2018 Michael Armijo hasn’t had time to replant the tulips wilting in his planter box. Scott Greenstone, The Seattle Times, "This tiny house village allows drugs. Should it have been put in a high drug-traffic area?," 24 Apr. 2018 Dressing, more specifically the acid in dressing, makes greens wilt in a hurry. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "How to Keep Leftover Salad From Getting Soggy," 2 Mar. 2018 Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ pound broccoli rabe (about half of a medium bunch), thick ends trimmed, and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Adam Ried, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Switch it up with lamb burgers instead of beef," 13 July 2018 After wilting under record-setting heat on Saturday, Kansas City came close to matching a record high temperature on Sunday. Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "After record-breaking heat, Kansas City to cool down — a little — on Memorial Day | The Kansas City Star," 27 May 2018 Turner averaged 14 points and 7.6 rebounds in the first three against Cleveland but wilted to 11.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in the last four games. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "How Pacers use Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis will depend on bigs' offseason development," 13 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Plants that wilt and ooze a sticky sap when cut may be infected with bacterial wilt, which is spread by cucumber beetles. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Loads Of Delicious Zucchini–The Most Versatile Garden Veggie Ever," 12 June 2017

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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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).


the setting in which something occurs

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