9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[shriv-uh l] /ˈʃrɪv əl/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), shriveled, shriveling or (especially British) shrivelled, shrivelling.
to contract and wrinkle, as from great heat, cold, or dryness.
to wither; make or become helpless or useless.
Origin of shrivel
1595-1605; akin to Swedish skroflig uneven, rough (perhaps orig. wrinkled, shrunken), dialectal Swedish skryvla to wrinkle, Old English sceorfan to roughen; see scurf
Related forms
unshriveled, adjective
unshrivelled, adjective
1. shrink. See wither. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shriveled
  • Also steer clear of lightweight or shriveled bulbs, since these may have lost too much moisture to recover well.
  • The sea has shriveled into three major residual lakes, two of which are so salty that fish have disappeared.
  • Still not a fact to be heard from the shriveled one.
  • shriveled testes grew back to normal and the animals regained their fertility.
  • We have a world in which private-sector unions have shriveled while public-sector ones have grown.
  • The ravaged plant then withers and dies, its grains shriveled into useless pebbles.
  • shriveled and sooty looking, a pair of lungs shows the effects of prolonged smoking.
  • Today the glaciers are shriveled, pocked-or simply gone.
  • Vegetation shriveled, and the hungry elephants ate even the shrubs down to raw wood.
  • Across the country this is a tough time for small arts groups because state grants have largely shriveled up.
British Dictionary definitions for shriveled


verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
to make or become shrunken and withered
to lose or cause to lose vitality
Word Origin
C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish dialect skryvla wrinkle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shriveled



1560s (implied in shriveled), of unknown origin, not found in Middle English; perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. Swedish skryvla "to wrinkle, to shrivel"), perhaps ultimately connected with shrimp (n.) and shrink (v.). Related: Shriveled; shriveling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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