wither

verb
with·​er | \ ˈwi-t͟hər How to pronounce wither (audio) \
withered; withering\ ˈwit͟h-​riŋ How to pronounce withering (audio) , ˈwi-​t͟hə-​ \

Definition of wither

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to become dry and sapless especially : to shrivel from or as if from loss of bodily moisture
2 : to lose vitality, force, or freshness public support for the bill is withering

transitive verb

1 : to cause to wither
2 : to make speechless or incapable of action : stun withered him with a look— Dorothy Sayers

wither

noun

Definition of wither (Entry 2 of 3)

chiefly British

Wither

biographical name
With·​er | \ ˈwi-t͟hər How to pronounce Wither (audio) \

Definition of Wither (Entry 3 of 3)

George 1588–1667 English poet and pamphleteer

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Synonyms for wither

Synonyms: Verb

dry, wilt

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Examples of wither in a Sentence

Verb

The plants withered and died. shortly after the moon landing, interest in the space program withered

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Harvest winter squash when the rind can’t be pierced with your thumbnail, around the time when the vines wither or even right after the first light frost. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "16 Types of Squash and Everything You Need to Know About Them," 28 Dec. 2018 But that’s not to say that rave—proper, unlicensed, anarchic, counterculture revelry—has withered and died. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "In London, Rave Culture Is Alive and Unwell at Sports Banger," 18 Feb. 2019 In a state that strictly enforces noncompete agreements, in contrast, job-switching might not be a practical option, causing the idea to wither on the vine. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Massachusetts gives workers new protections against noncompete clauses," 21 Aug. 2018 Under withering public rejection and criticism from congressional Democrats and Republicans alike, Trump stopped taking children from their parents. Alan Fram, The Seattle Times, "Senators seek answers about migrant family separations," 30 July 2018 With more dry weather in the spring, numerous wildfires have popped up under an umbrella of withering heat. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "2018 Arizona monsoon prediction: Possibly wetter than normal?," 14 June 2018 So is Pierce’s disease, which causes entire vineyards to wither and die and is transmitted by small winged insects called sharpshooters. Kevin Begos, Smithsonian, "The Quest to Grow the First Great American Wine Grape," 6 June 2018 As Howard withered away from the effects of a life-threatening eating disorder, her mother drove the 200 miles from Americus, Ga., to Tallahassee, hoping to keep death in the rear view mirror. Elizabeth Koh And Carol Marbin Miller, miamiherald, "She's starving to death — and public health agencies can't or won't stop it | Miami Herald," 24 May 2018 Postseason hopes have all but withered up and died, with the Orioles heading into Tuesday’s game already 12½ games behind the final American League wild-card spot and 17 behind the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "'I'm afraid to turn on the Orioles tonight': Bleak start tests the patience of Birds diehards," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wither.' 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 wither

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1607, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wither

Verb

Middle English widren; probably akin to Middle English weder weather

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Statistics for wither

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wither

The first known use of wither was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for wither

wither

verb

English Language Learners Definition of wither

of a plant : to become dry and weak

wither

verb
with·​er | \ ˈwi-t͟hər How to pronounce wither (audio) \
withered; withering

Kids Definition of wither

: to shrivel or cause to shrivel from or as if from loss of moisture : wilt

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More from Merriam-Webster on wither

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wither

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wither

Spanish Central: Translation of wither

Nglish: Translation of wither for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wither for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wither

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