Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Of a plant: to wither, wilt, decay.
  • v. To diminish; to lose brightness, to wane.
  • v. to soak, steep.
  • v. to thrash, beat severely.
  • n. Alternative form of whelk.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To wither; to fade; also, to decay; to decline; to wane.
  • transitive v. To cause to wither; to wilt.
  • transitive v. To contract; to shorten.
  • transitive v. To soak; also, to beat severely.
  • n. A pustule. See 2d whelk.
  • n. A whelk.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as whelk.
  • To fade; decline; decrease.
  • To wither; wrinkle; shrivel.
  • n. Same as whelk.

Etymologies

Probably from a continental Germanic language; compare Dutch welken, German welken. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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