• Wither


    • GenAm IPA: /ˈwɪðɚ/; enPR: thʹər
    • RP IPA: /ˈwɪðə/
    • Rhymes: -ɪðə(ɹ)
    • Homophones: whither some accents

    Origin 1

    From Middle English, from Old English wiþer ("again, against", adverb in compounds.), from Proto-Germanic *wiþra ("against, toward"), from Proto-Indo-European *wī-tero- ("further apart"), *wī- ("separate, alone"). Cognate with Low German wedder ("against"), Dutch weer ("again, back"), German wider ("against, contrary to"), wieder ("again"), Gothic 𐍅𐌹𐌸𐍂𐌰, Old Norse viðr. More at with.

    Full definition of wither



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

    Origin 2

    From Middle English witheren, from Old English wiþerian ("to resist, oppose, struggle against"), from Proto-Germanic *wiþrōną ("to go against, resist"). Cognate with Middle Dutch wideren, Old High German widarōn.


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

    Origin 3

    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"). Compare Dutch verwederen (""), verweren ("to erode by weather"), German verwittern ("to be ruined by weather; to erode"). More at weather.


    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. 10There was a man which had his hand withered.
      • ShakespeareThis is man, old, wrinkled, faded, withered.
      • Drydennow warm in love, now with'ring in the grave
    3. (intransitive, figurative) To lose vigour or power; to languish; to pass away.
      • Byronnames that must not wither
      • CowperStates thrive or wither as moons wax and wane.
    4. (intransitive) To become helpless due to emotion.
    5. (transitive) To make helpless due to emotion.

    Usage notes

    Not to be confused with whither.


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