Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To dry up or shrivel from loss of moisture.
  • intransitive verb To lose force or vitality; become diminished; wane.
  • intransitive verb To cause to shrivel or fade.
  • intransitive verb To cause to lose force or vitality; diminish or destroy.
  • intransitive verb To render speechless or incapable of action; stun.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To go against; resist: oppose.
  • Against; in opposition (to): chiefly in composition, as a prefix wither-, against.
  • To cause to become dry and fade; make sapless and shrunken.
  • To cause to shrink, wrinkle, and decay for want of animal moisture; cause to lose bloom; shrivel; cause to have a wrinkled skin or shrunken muscles: as, time will wither the fairest face.
  • To blight, injure, or destroy, as by some malign or baleful influence; affect fatally by malevolence; cause to perish or languish generally: as, to wither a person by a look or glance; reputations withered by scandal.
  • To lose the sap or juice; dry and shrivel up; lose freshness and bloom; fade.
  • To become dry and wrinkled, as from the loss or lack of animal moisture; lose pristine freshness, bloom, softness, smoothness, vigor, or the like, as from age or disease; decay.
  • To decay generally; decline; languish; pass away.
  • See wither, adverb

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To cause to fade, and become dry.
  • transitive verb To cause to shrink, wrinkle, or decay, for want of animal moisture.
  • transitive verb To cause to languish, perish, or pass away; to blight.
  • intransitive verb To fade; to lose freshness; to become sapless; to become sapless; to dry or shrivel up.
  • intransitive verb To lose or want animal moisture; to waste; to pin� away, as animal bodies.
  • intransitive verb To lose vigor or power; to languish; to pass away.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adverb Against, in opposition to.
  • verb obsolete To go against, resist; oppose.
  • verb intransitive To shrivel, droop or dry up, especially from lack of water
  • verb intransitive To become helpless due to emotion
  • verb transitive To cause to shrivel or dry up
  • verb transitive To make helpless due to emotion

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

  • verb wither, as with a loss of moisture
  • verb lose freshness, vigor, or vitality

Etymologies

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

[Alteration of Middle English widderen, perhaps variant of wederen, to weather, from weder, weather; see weather.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English wiþer ("again, against", adverb in compounds), from Proto-Germanic *wiþra (“against, toward”), from Proto-Indo-European *wī-tero- (“further apart”), *wī- (“separate, alone”). Cognate with Low German wedder ("against"), Dutch weer ("again, back"), German wider ("against, contrary to"), wieder ("again"), Gothic 𐍅𐌹𐌸𐍂𐌰 (wiþra), Old Norse viðr. More at with.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English witheren, from Old English wiþerian ("to resist, oppose, struggle against"), from Proto-Germanic *wiþrōnan (“to go against, resist”). Cognate with Middle Dutch wideren, Old High German widarōn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English widren, wydderen ("to dry up, shrivel"), related to or perhaps an alteration of Middle English wederen ("to expose to weather"), from Old English wederian ("to expose to weather, exhibit a change of weather"). Compare German verwittern ("to be ruined by weather"). More at weather.

Examples

  • The pink and white impatiens that always seemed to wither from the DC heat looked alive and stood at attention as if they knew they had a special guest.

    Susanna Quinn: Eight Weeks With Dad

  • The pink and white impatiens that always seemed to wither from the DC heat looked alive and stood at attention as if they knew they had a special guest.

    Susanna Quinn: Eight Weeks With Dad

  • The pink and white impatiens that always seemed to wither from the DC heat looked alive and stood at attention as if they knew they had a special guest.

    Susanna Quinn: Eight Weeks With Dad

  • "Judge me by your own rule, dear Donald," cried his wife, blandishingly kissing his forehead, "and you will not again wither the mother of your boy with such a look as I just now received."

    The Scottish Chiefs

  • If we fail here, our national prosperity will wither from the root; no statesmanship can save us long; no present strength can give us any guarantee for our future.

    The Teachings of the Crisis

  • Vines will brown and wither, which is simply their way of saying, "We're done."

    Groundwork: The word on cukes

  • There is something terribly traditional and elegant about the place and yet it has a quirky modernity too, a refusal to let its grandeur wither, which is exactly the kind of place Bakewell ought to live.

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  • Did they become more dissatisfied from June to August, and that increased dissatisfaction caused their support to "wither"?

    David Moore: "Obama Fatigue" Is A Pew Construct

  • But I think as Karen, and I think as Eleanor said, we will have to narrow this issue because certainly if we don't, we're going to be criticized, and obviously, it may just kind of wither away.

    Remarks By President In Race Initiative Meeting

  • Pretty sure that 'wither' is the equivalent of shriveling or drying up, i.e. "wither on the vine."

    Global Macro Notes: Whither Commodities - Seeking Alpha

Comments

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  • "This cruel country has driven me down

    Teased me and lied, teased me and lied

    I've only sad stories to tell to this town

    My dreams have withered and died"

    - Richard and Linda Thompson, "Withered and Died"

    February 20, 2007

  • Any friend of Richard and Linda Thompson (or should I say Richard Thompson and Linda Thompson) is a friend of mine. . .and the guy who owns Wordie to boot! Thank you.

    June 18, 2007