verb (used without object)
- to shrivel; fade; decay: The grapes had withered on the vine.
- to lose the freshness of youth, as from age (often followed by away).
verb (used with object)
- to make flaccid, shrunken, or dry, as from loss of moisture; cause to lose freshness, bloom, vigor, etc.: The drought withered the buds.
- to affect harmfully: Reputations were withered by the scandal.
- to abash, as by a scathing glance: a look that withered him.
- (intr) (esp of a plant) to droop, wilt, or shrivel up
- (intr often foll by away) to fade or wasteall hope withered away
- (intr) to decay, decline, or disintegrate
- (tr) to cause to wilt, fade, or lose vitality
- (tr) to abash, esp with a scornful look
- (tr) to harm or damage
v.1530s, alteration of Middle English wydderen “dry up, shrivel” (c.1300), apparently a differentiated and special use of wederen “to expose to weather” (see weather). Cf. German verwittern “to become weather-beaten,” from Witter “weather.”