Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various fungi that form a superficial, usually whitish growth on plants and various organic materials.
  • n. A superficial coating or discoloration of organic materials, such as cloth, paper, or leather, caused by fungi, especially under damp conditions.
  • n. A plant disease caused by such fungi.
  • transitive v. To affect or become affected with mildew.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A growth of minute powdery or webby fungi, whitish or of different colors, found on various diseased or decaying substances.
  • v. To taint with mildew.
  • v. To become tainted with mildew.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A growth of minute powdery or webby fungi, whitish or of different colors, found on various diseased or decaying substances.
  • intransitive v. To become tainted with mildew.
  • transitive v. To taint with mildew.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To taint with mildew.
  • To become affected with mildew.
  • n. A minute parasitic fungus which frequently appears on the leaves, stems, and various other parts of plants or other decaying organic substances as a white frost-like down, or in spots or with various discolorations.
  • n. A state of decay produced in living and dead vegetable matter, and in some manufactured products of vegetable matter, such as cloth and paper, by the ravages of very minute parasitical fungi.
  • n. A disease of cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and similar plants, caused by Plasmopara Cubensis.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the process of becoming mildewed
  • n. a fungus that produces a superficial (usually white) growth on organic matter
  • v. become moldy; spoil due to humidity

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English mildēaw, honeydew, nectar; see melit- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English meledēaw ("honeydew") (cf. West Frisian moaldau, Dutch meeldauw, German Mehltau), from Proto-Germanic *mili (“honey”) + *dawwō (“dew”). More at dew. (Wiktionary)

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