Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
1690s, probably an alteration of welk "to wilt," probably from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German welken "to wither," cognate with Old High German irwelhen "become soft." Related: Wilted; wilting.
common symptom of plant disease resulting from a water loss in leaves and stems. Affected parts lose their turgidity and droop. Specific wilt diseases-caused by a variety of fungi, bacteria, and viruses-are easily confused with root and crown rots, stem cankers, insect injuries, drought or excess water, soil compaction, and other noninfectious problems.