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[wiz-uh n; wee-zuh n] /ˈwɪz ən; ˈwi zən/ British Dialect
verb (used with or without object)
to wither; shrivel; dry up.
Origin of wizen
before 900; (v.) Middle English wisenen, Old English wisnian; cognate with Old Norse visna to wither; (adj.) shortened form of wizened Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for wizen
Historical Examples
  • Aged she seemed, incredibly old, wizen, dried; though with these people who can tell of age?

    Cursed George Allan England
  • And, if he mentioned who he was, could not the wizen man by his side help him to get at them?

    Hide and Seek Wilkie Collins
  • There 's a young feller 'round here, Betsy, as wants ter look out fer his wizen.

    Wappin' Wharf Charles S. Brooks
  • On the contrary, Dallas' evident interest in the stranger had stirred the unnatural jealousy in her father's wizen brain.

    The Plow-Woman Eleanor Gates
  • His blinking eyes were steady, and his wizen face had become suddenly composed.

    No Name Wilkie Collins
  • Though his face was wizen, the leanness of his body had no appearance of weakness, but rather every sign of strength.

    The Bright Face of Danger Robert Neilson Stephens
  • I'll twist that wizen gullet of hers the next time she shows her ugly black face here!

    The Unseen Bridgegroom May Agnes Fleming
  • Another little girl was heard to say she would slit her sister's wisdom—a slip, no doubt, for wizen.

    Wappin' Wharf Charles S. Brooks
  • His fingers crooked, his body in a bow, his wizen, cruel face pallid in the ghostly light.

    The Sleuth of St. James's Square Melville Davisson Post
  • Duke: Askin' yer pardon, Captain, bein' as it was me as smelled him out, won 't yer let me slit his wizen?

    Wappin' Wharf Charles S. Brooks
British Dictionary definitions for wizen


to make or become shrivelled
a variant of wizened
Word Origin
Old English wisnian; related to Old Norse visna, Old High German wesanēn


an archaic word for weasand
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 wizen

Old English wisnian, weosnian "to wither," cognate with Old Norse visna, Old High German wesanen "to dry up, shrivel, wither;" German verwesen "to decay, rot." Related: Wizened.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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