There are 2 definitions of wilt in English:


Line breaks: wilt
Pronunciation: /wɪlt


  • 1 [no object] (Of a plant, leaf, or flower) become limp through heat, loss of water, or disease; droop.
    More example sentences
    • At this time, chill treatment seedlings were severely wilted with extensive leaf rolling characteristic of water-stressed maize.
    • Insufficient removal of these air embolisms may result in serious water stress which may lead to early leaf wilting as previously shown in chrysanthemum cut flowers.
    • Similarly, in cut chrysanthemum flowers, the leaves often wilt, due to a blockage for water transport in the xylem of the basal stem part.
    droop, sag, become limp, become flaccid, flop; wither, shrivel (up)
  • 1.1(Of a person) lose energy, vigour, or confidence: Lady Beresford was beginning to wilt as she greeted the long line of guests
    More example sentences
    • Most people wilt under my malevolent glare and scurry away, with the exception of my friend's ex who replied, ‘You find me a microwave big enough first!’
    • I have seen people wilt under infinitely less, and she just maintained class and dignity throughout.
    • What with chasing up health care, and taking delivery of 200 gallons of heating oil, and tackling a stream of official forms and stuff, I was wilting more than just a little by the end of the afternoon.
    languish, flag, lose energy, become listless, feel weak/faint; droop, sag
  • 2 [with object] Leave (mown grass or a forage crop) in the open to dry partially before being collected for silage.
    More example sentences
    • Alfalfa herbage was wilted, chopped, and conserved as AS by procedures and in a storage structure defined previously for SGS.
    • There will be no effluent in baled silage if the grass is wilted to above 23% dry matter.
    • If weather dries up, wilt this grass and use a preservative if sugars are low.


[mass noun, usually with modifier] Back to top  
  • Any of a number of fungal or bacterial diseases of plants characterized by wilting of the foliage: these varieties are more resistant to aphids and wilt
    More example sentences
    • Both stages can carry bacterial wilt or cucumber mosaic virus, diseases that will quickly kill the plant.
    • They are blamed with spreading bacterial wilt and cucumber mosaic.
    • Hail damage can increase the incidence of corn smut, stalk rot, Goss's bacterial wilt and blight and holcus spot.


late 17th century (originally dialect): perhaps an alteration of dialect welk 'lose freshness', of Low German origin.

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