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From Middle English mildewe, from Old English meledēaw, mildēaw, from Proto-West Germanic *milidauw, from *mili (“honey”) + *dauw (“dew”). Compare West Frisian moaldau, Dutch meeldauw, German Mehltau. More at dew.
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈmɪl.djuː/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈmɪl.d(j)u/
- Rhymes: -ɪldjuː, -ɪldu
- (phytopathology) A growth of minute powdery or webby fungi, whitish or of different colors, found on various diseased or decaying substances.
growth of minute fungi
- (transitive) To taint with mildew.
- c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iv]:
- He gives the web and the pin, squints the eye, and makes the harelip; mildews the white wheat, and hurts the poor creature of earth.
- (intransitive) To become tainted with mildew.
to taint with mildew
to become tainted with mildew