verb (shrivels, shriveling, shriveled ; British shrivels, shrivelling, shrivelled)
- 1Wrinkle and contract or cause to wrinkle and contract, especially due to loss of moisture: [no object]: the flowers simply shriveled up [with object]: a heat wave so intense that it shriveled the grapes in every vineyardMore example sentences
wither, shrink; wilt; dry up, desiccate, dehydrate, parch, frazzle
- Like Bhikhu's right arm, this man's leg was shrivelled up.
- Jillian felt the covers being ripped off of her and she shriveled up due to the loss of warmth.
- Monday night the trend continued and I was cooked for again, after we had lounged about in the Turkish baths for a good long while, until we were so shrivelled up we looked like dead people.
- 1.1 [no object] Lose momentum, will, or desire; become insignificant or ineffectual: his spirit shriveled and his talent atrophiedMore example sentences
- As biodiversity shrivels, we lose a vast store of information and potential cures.
- She smiled, pretending to be as confident as Tiffany, but inside she was shriveling.
- I'll just wither and wane under all that pressure and shrivel up inside until I'm microscopic.
- 1.2 [with object] Cause to feel worthless or insignificant: she shriveled him with one glanceMore example sentences
- FDR and Churchill led the world against Hitler, but it may have taken a Jewish comedian, Mel Brooks, to shrivel him to comic insignificance in The Producers.
mid 16th century: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare with Swedish dialect skryvla 'to wrinkle'.