withering

Withering is the process of becoming weaker. You can watch the withering of a flower bouquet in water — over the days and weeks, the blossoms become droopy and faded.

You might talk about the withering of trees in a drought or the withering of people's bank accounts during an economic recession. Withering can also be used as an adjective, to describe something with a terrible, destructive strength, like a withering hurricane. It comes from the verb wither, to dry up or shrivel, from the Old English word wydderen, which is a variation on wederen, "to expose to the weather."

Definitions of withering
  1. noun
    any weakening or degeneration (especially through lack of use)
    synonyms: atrophy
    see moresee less
    type of:
    weakening
    becoming weaker
  2. adjective
    wreaking or capable of wreaking complete destruction
    synonyms: annihilating, annihilative, devastating
    destructive
    causing destruction or much damage
  3. adjective
    making light of
    “"to compliments inflated I've a withering reply"- W.S.Gilbert”
    synonyms: annihilating, devastating
    disrespectful
    exhibiting lack of respect; rude and discourteous
Word Family
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