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Denotation vs. Connotation

wither

[with -er] /ˈwɪð ər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to shrivel; fade; decay:
The grapes had withered on the vine.
2.
to lose the freshness of youth, as from age (often followed by away).
verb (used with object)
3.
to make flaccid, shrunken, or dry, as from loss of moisture; cause to lose freshness, bloom, vigor, etc.:
The drought withered the buds.
4.
to affect harmfully:
Reputations were withered by the scandal.
5.
to abash, as by a scathing glance:
a look that withered him.
Origin of wither
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English, perhaps variant of weather (v.)
Related forms
witheredness, noun
witherer, noun
witheringly, adverb
nonwithering, adjective
overwithered, adjective
unwithered, adjective
unwithering, adjective
Can be confused
weather, whether, whither, wither (see synonym study at the current entry)
whither, wither.
Synonyms
1. wrinkle, shrink, dry, decline, languish, droop, waste. Wither, shrivel imply a shrinking, wilting, and wrinkling. Wither (of plants and flowers) is to dry up, shrink, wilt, fade, whether as a natural process or as the result of exposure to excessive heat or drought: Plants withered in the hot sun. Shrivel, used of thin, flat objects and substances, such as leaves, the skin, etc., means to curl, roll up, become wrinkled: The leaves shrivel in cold weather. Paper shrivels in fire. 5. humiliate, shame.

Wither

[with -er] /ˈwɪð ər/
noun
1.
George, 1588–1667, English poet and pamphleteer.
Also, Withers
[with -erz] /ˈwɪð ərz/ (Show IPA)
.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for wither
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She might be less, as her face had begun to wither with her voice.

    The Landleaguers Anthony Trollope
  • Keats and wither will serve as examples with which to finish our argument.

    The Lyric John Drinkwater
  • Love may wither my heart till it rustles in my breast like a dried leaf, but I will never, never let her know how I love her.

    The Darrow Enigma Melvin L. Severy
  • They will not wither in the least if kept out of direct sunshine for a few days.

  • Grass began to brown and wither on the hillsides as the days went by and Lake knew summer was very near.

    Space Prison Tom Godwin
British Dictionary definitions for wither

wither

/ˈwɪðə/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (esp of a plant) to droop, wilt, or shrivel up
2.
(intransitive) often foll by away. to fade or waste: all hope withered away
3.
(intransitive) to decay, decline, or disintegrate
4.
(transitive) to cause to wilt, fade, or lose vitality
5.
(transitive) to abash, esp with a scornful look
6.
(transitive) to harm or damage
Derived Forms
withered, adjective
witherer, noun
withering, adjective
witheringly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: perhaps variant of weather (vb); related to German verwittern to decay
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 wither
v.

1530s, alteration of Middle English wydderen "dry up, shrivel" (c.1300), apparently a differentiated and special use of wederen "to expose to weather" (see weather). Cf. German verwittern "to become weather-beaten," from Witter "weather."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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