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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
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for withered
  • It should be bright and squeaky, the leaves dark green, not yellow or withered.
  • Hundreds of herdsmen and tens of thousands of cattle have withered and died on futile treks in search of pasture.
  • Imagine hair that sprouts in skeins from once withered follicles.
  • And wearing the slippers, on the couch, a withered old lady in sweatpants.
  • Now it's the opposite: the scorched and withered lawn shows you're a good eco-citizen and team player.
  • The skin pulsed red and sporadically flickered, gradually fading to pallid white as brain activity withered.
  • Two examples:In an accompanying photograph, a withered.
  • Its economy has barely grown and its regional influence has withered.
  • Those who are loitering by the withered tree are waiting for salvation, which never comes.
  • Her bent and withered frame shudders as the tears slide down her face and into her lap.
British Dictionary definitions for withered

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 withered

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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15
14
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