Definition of shrivel in English:


Syllabification: shriv·el
Pronunciation: /ˈSHrivəl

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 vineyard
More example sentences
  • 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.
wither, shrink;
dry up, desiccate, dehydrate, parch, frazzle
1.1 [no object] Lose momentum, will, or desire; become insignificant or ineffectual: his spirit shriveled and his talent atrophied
More 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 glance
More 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'.

Definition of shrivel in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day bimble
Pronunciation: ˈbɪmb(ə)l
walk or travel at a leisurely pace