wither

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See also: wither- and wiþer-

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English widren, wydderen (to dry up, shrivel), related to or perhaps an alteration of Middle English wederen (to expose to weather), from Old English wederian (to expose to weather, exhibit a change of weather).

Verb[edit]

wither (third-person singular simple present withers, present participle withering, simple past and past participle withered)

  1. (intransitive) To shrivel, droop or dry up, especially from lack of water.
  2. (transitive) To cause to shrivel or dry up.
    • Bible, Matthew xii. 10
      There was a man which had his hand withered.
      c. 1590–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene v]:
      This is man, old, wrinkled, faded, withered.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      now warm in love, now with'ring in the grave
  3. (intransitive, figuratively) To lose vigour or power; to languish; to pass away.
    • (Can we date this quote by Byron and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      names that must not wither
    • (Can we date this quote by Cowper and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      States thrive or wither as moons wax and wane.
  4. (intransitive) To become helpless due to emotion.
  5. (transitive) To make helpless due to emotion.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
Usage notes[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

wither (plural withers)

  1. singular of withers (part of the back of a four-legged animal that is between the shoulder blades)
    • 2007, Sara Douglass, Enchanter, Macmillan (→ISBN):
      Timozel had slid his feet quickly from the stirrups and swung his leg over the horse's wither as it slumped to the ground, standing himself in one graceful movement.
    • 2008, Kate Luxmoore, Introduction to Equestrian Sports (→ISBN), page 140:
      If a saddle tips too far forward it may rest on the horse's wither and cause pain. There should always be a gap of roughly 5 cm between the horse's wither and the pommel when you are sitting on the saddle.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English wither, from Old English wiþer (again, against, adverb in compounds), from Proto-Germanic *wiþrą (against, toward), from Proto-Indo-European *wī-tero- (further apart), *wi- (separate, alone).

Adverb[edit]

wither (comparative more wither, superlative most wither)

  1. (obsolete or chiefly in compounds) Against, in opposition to.

Etymology 4[edit]

From Middle English witheren, from Old English wiþerian (to resist, oppose, struggle against), from Proto-Germanic *wiþrōną (to go against, resist).

Verb[edit]

wither (third-person singular simple present withers, present participle withering, simple past and past participle withered)

  1. (obsolete) To go against, resist; oppose.

Anagrams[edit]