Wither means to shrivel up or shrink. If you forget to water your plants for six weeks, they'll wither — they'll dry up and you probably won't be able to bring them back to life.

Wither comes from the Middle English word wydderen, meaning "dry up, shrivel." In addition to shrinking, the verb wither can also refer to losing vitality and fading away, like people who wither as they age. They slowly lose their physical stamina and grow feeble. People also start to physically shrink at a certain age. In that way, they wither in both senses. Not only do they wither by losing their youth, they also wither by shrinking.

Definitions of wither
  1. verb
    lose freshness, vigor, or vitality
    synonyms: fade
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    type of:
    disappear, go away, vanish
    get lost, as without warning or explanation
  2. verb
    wither, as with a loss of moisture
    synonyms: shrink, shrivel, shrivel up
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    undergo atrophy
    shrivel or wither or mature imperfectly
    die back, die down
    suffer from a disease that kills shoots
    dry up, mummify
    dry up and shrivel due to complete loss of moisture
    type of:
    decrease, diminish, fall, lessen
    decrease in size, extent, or range
Word Family

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