Definition of shrivel in English:


Line breaks: shrivel
Pronunciation: /ʃrɪv(ə)l

verb (shrivels, shrivelling, shrivelled; US shrivels, shriveling, shriveled)

  • 1Wrinkle and contract or cause to wrinkle and contract, especially due to loss of moisture: [no object]: the flowers simply shrivelled up [with object]: a heatwave so intense that it shrivelled 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, wrinkle, pucker up, shrink; wilt; dry up, desiccate, dehydrate, parch, frazzle, scorch, sear, burn
    literary blast
    rare exsiccate
    withered, dry, dried up, desiccated, dehydrated, wrinkled, puckered, wizened, faded; parched, frazzled, scorched, seared, burnt
    literary blasted, sere
    rare exsiccated
  • 1.1 [no object] Lose momentum, will, or desire: as American interest shrivelled, so did the government’s
    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 shrivelled 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'.

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