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."

Primary Meanings of withering

1.
nadj
any weakening or degeneration (especially through lack of use)
wreaking or capable of wreaking complete destruction
2.
adj
making light of
Full Definitions of withering
1

n any weakening or degeneration (especially through lack of use)

Synonyms:
atrophy
Type of:
weakening
becoming weaker

adj wreaking or capable of wreaking complete destruction

“the guns opened a withering fire”
Synonyms:
annihilating, annihilative, devastating
destructive
causing destruction or much damage
2

adj 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

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