American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To become or make shrunken and wrinkled, often by drying: Leaves die, fall, and shrivel. The heat shriveled the unwatered seedlings.
- v. To lose or cause to lose vitality or intensity: My enthusiasm shriveled as the project wore on. Inflation shriveled the buying power of the dollar.
- v. To become or make much less or smaller; dwindle.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To contract; draw or be drawn into wrinkles; shrink and form corrugations, as a leaf in the hot sun, or the skin with age.
- Synonyms To shrivel is to become wrinkled or corrugated by contraction; to shrink is, as a rule, to contract while preserving the same general form.
- To contract into wrinkles; cause to shrink into corrugations.
- To make narrow; limit in scope.
- To wither; blight; render impotent.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To draw, or be drawn, into wrinkles; to shrink, and form corrugations; ; -- often with
- v. To cause to shrivel or contract; to cause to shrink onto corruptions.
- v. wither, as with a loss of moisture
- v. decrease in size, range, or extent
- Origin unknown. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Okay, why did my brain shrivel to the size and consistency of a pea after two kids and you just had a baby and show no signs of “baby brain” at all.”
“But consider yourself lucky: if I were really to blog about our sex life you KNOW that your testicles would shrivel from the embarassment.”
“He even used "going forward," a term to shrivel the heart of anyone toiling at a corporation that values meaningless management-talk.”
“We have seen that with porn channels in cable situations where finally they kind of shrivel up a little bit.”
“The bottom line is that the seed of humanity in each of us can grow more vibrant with love or can shrivel through neglect.”
“Developers and equipment manufacturers, among others, would have no leverage on price, would see their markets shrink and their profits shrivel.”
“Vastly talented hosts like Anderson Cooper have seen their audiences shrivel because of their neutrality and his producers are now encouraging him to get in the face of his interviewees.”
“The internet comments included ugliness like this: "It is not Mr. Beck's eyes that should fail, rather his vocal chords should shrivel up"; and this one from a man named Brian: "Beck is already blind to the truth, so what does it matter if he can't see.”
“This reminds me of someone I talked to who once told some protesters that the LRAD sonic blaster emitted radiation that would shrivel their testicles.”
“The sell out to the highest bidder and shrivel at the first sign of controversy.”
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