with·​er·​ing | \ ˈwit͟h-riŋ , ˈwi-t͟hə-\

Definition of withering

: acting or serving to cut down or destroy : devastating a withering fire from the enemy a withering rebuke

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Other Words from withering

witheringly \ ˈwit͟h-​riŋ-​lē , ˈwi-​t͟hə-​ \ adverb

Examples of withering in a Sentence

The book has been the subject of withering criticism. She gave me a withering look.

Recent Examples on the Web

As lovely as David is, Kenneth is horrible, withering, quick to judge and more than a little mean. Sarah Dunn, New York Times, "Two Novels on the Complexities of Revisiting Past Loves," 1 June 2018 McCool, heading back to her car in the withering summer heat outside the casino, worried there was no end to how far Trump might go. David Montero, latimes.com, "Contrasting views as Trump visits Nevada: 'Best president we've ever had' to fears that 'it could get worse'," 24 June 2018 The withering fire from the Laffey, the San Francisco and other U.S. ships hit home. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, "How SF’s namesake ship survived a World War II ‘suicide’ mission," 9 June 2018 A year later, after a withering exchange with Tucker Carlson on the same show, Wallace stopped appearing. Andrew Goldman, Town & Country, "Chris Wallace Is Fox News's Man in the Middle," 17 Nov. 2018 The result was a vehicle that could protect tanks by delivering withering fire against infantry anti-tank teams, and in a pinch destroy enemy tanks. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "China's 'Terminator' Tank Support Vehicle Is Bristling With Weaponry," 7 Nov. 2018 The limited public polling since the state’s May primary has shown Manchin with a healthy lead over Morrisey, who has come under withering attacks from Democrats over his past lobbying ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Seung-min Kim, The Seattle Times, "In West Virginia, Trump ignores brewing legal storm," 21 Aug. 2018 Trump's public doubting of Russia's responsibility in a joint news conference with Putin on Monday provoked withering criticism from Republicans as well as Democrats and forced the president to make a rare public admission of error. Fox News, "Trump-Putin II: Planning fall event in aftermath of Helsinki," 20 July 2018 His opponents gathered in the streets to denounce him and wrote withering diatribes against him in the press. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Bolsonaro Takes Brazil," 28 Oct. 2018

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

1579, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for withering

Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for withering

The first known use of withering was in 1579

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English Language Learners Definition of withering

: very harsh, severe, or damaging

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More from Merriam-Webster on withering

Nglish: Translation of withering for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of withering for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about withering

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