v. with·ered, with·er·ing, with·ers
1. To dry up or shrivel from loss of moisture.
2. To lose force or vitality; become diminished; wane: "Belief in industry self-regulation took hold ... and formal regulation was allowed to wither" (Eduardo Porter).
1. To cause to shrivel or fade.
2. To cause to lose force or vitality; diminish or destroy: "Three years apart had withered her hopes and she was engaged to someone else" (John Garth).
3. To render speechless or incapable of action; stun: The teacher withered the noisy student with a glance.
[Alteration of Middle English widderen, perhaps variant of wederen, to weather, from weder, weather; see WEATHER.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.