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



Definition of wither (Entry 2 of 3)

chiefly British


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

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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 Some states, Rao says, have not adopted federal rules that keep the exemption in line with inflation, leaving its real value to wither over the years. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Small-business owners considering bankruptcy may be shocked to learn they could lose their homes," 10 June 2020 There are terrible ideas that wither over time, and there are some, like the payroll tax cut, that refuse to go away. Max Richtman For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Trump is pushing to eliminate payroll taxes. It could doom Social Security," 3 June 2020 Any further rally that withers before overcoming a previous high may signal Bitcoin entered a potential downtrend, further indicating bearish sentiment. Vildana Hajric, Bloomberg.com, "Bitcoin’s Bounce Back Over $9,000 Masks a Potential Downtrend," 26 May 2020 The bugs implant their eggs into branches or vines, causing them to spilt and wither. NBC News, "Millions of 17-year cicadas will emerge in the South, creating 'substantial noise issue'," 24 May 2020 That plan evaporated with the coronavirus pandemic, as the economy withered under a prolonged statewide stay-at-home order. Alexei Koseff, SFChronicle.com, "How Gavin Newsom plans to close California’s huge budget gap during coronavirus pandemic," 14 May 2020 That began a seven-year run in which Maloney went 117-60 wither 2.90 ERA, throwing 1,528 1/3 innings, including 68 complete games and 29 shutouts. John Fay, Cincinnati.com, "Reds All-Time Team: Rijo, Soto, Maloney, Gullett and Cueto rated by the fans as the top starters," 10 Apr. 2020 To believe that a country can force wealth redistribution amid withering international competition is simply unsupportable and reckless. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: The anti-socialism skew; We need a third party; Challenged by competition (12/23/19)," 23 Dec. 2019 It was born as unions were withering and kept adding issues to its banner. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Ayala: Southwest Workers may not be a union anymore but still has a strikers’ fund," 19 May 2020

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


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


1607, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wither


Middle English widren; probably akin to Middle English weder weather

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Time Traveler for wither

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wither

Last Updated

18 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wither.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wither. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for wither


How to pronounce Wither (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wither

of a plant : to become dry and weak


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wither

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wither

Spanish Central: Translation of wither

Nglish: Translation of wither for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wither for Arabic Speakers

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