Recorded since 1691, probably an alteration of welk, itself from Middle English welken, presumed from Middle Dutch (preserved in modern inchoative verwelken) or Middle Low German welken (“to wither”), cognate with Old High German irwelhen (“to become soft”).
- (intransitive) To droop or become limp and flaccid (as a dying leaf or flower).
- (intransitive) To fatigue; to lose strength; to flag.
- 2011 September 27, Alistair Magowan, “Bayern Munich 2 - 0 Man City”, in BBC Sport:
- 2021 May 5, Drachinifel, Battle of Samar - What if TF34 was there?, archived from the original on 19 August 2022, retrieved 31 August 2022, 40:43 from the start:
- Caught between hails of 5″/38 fire and working Mk 14 torpedoes, on the one hand, and 16-inch batteries backed up by even more 5″/38 guns, on the other, the Japanese cruisers rapidly began to wilt under the sustained bombardment; firing off any remaining torpedoes they had at any targets that they could find and bring to bear, the survivors wheeled about and began to beat a retreat.
- (transitive) To cause to droop or become limp and flaccid (as a flower).
- (transitive) To cause to fatigue; to exhaust.
- The act of wilting or the state of being wilted.
- (phytopathology) Any of various plant diseases characterized by wilting.
From Middle English wilt, from Old English wilt, from Proto-West Germanic *wilt, second person singular preterite-present of Proto-West Germanic *willjan. Cognate with Dutch wilt (“wilt”, second-person singular of willen), German willt (archaic second person singular indicative of wollen).
- (archaic) second-person singular simple present form of
- 1952, Bible (Revised Standard Version), Psalms 17:3
- If thou triest my heart, if thou visitest me by night, if thou testest me, thou wilt find no wickedness in me.