- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈwɪðɚ/; enPR: wĭthʹər
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈwɪðə/
- Rhymes: -ɪðə(ɹ)
- Homophone: whither (some accents)
Audio (UK) (file)
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”).
- (intransitive) To shrivel, droop or dry up, especially from lack of water.
- (transitive) To cause to shrivel or dry up.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Matthew 12:10:
- There was a man which had his hand withered.
- 1700, [John] Dryden, “Palamon and Arcite: Or, The Knight’s Tale. In Three Books.”, in Fables Ancient and Modern; […], London: […] Jacob Tonson, […], →OCLC:
- now warm in love, now with'ring in the grave
- (intransitive, figurative) To lose vigour or power; to languish; to pass away.
- 1782, William Cowper, Expostulation:
- States thrive or wither as moons wax and wane.
- (intransitive) To become helpless due to emotion.
- (transitive) To make helpless due to emotion.
- (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- Not to be confused with whither.
See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.
wither (plural withers)
- singular of
- 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.