perishing [per-i-shing] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin adjective

  1. causing destruction, ruin, extreme discomfort, or death: lost in the perishing cold.

Origin of perishing late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at perish, -ing2 Related formsper·ish·ing·ly, adverbnon·per·ish·ing, adjectiveun·per·ish·ing, adjective perish [per-ish] verb (used without object)

  1. to die or be destroyed through violence, privation, etc.: to perish in an earthquake.
  2. to pass away or disappear: an age of elegance that has forever perished.
  3. to suffer destruction or ruin: His valuable paintings perished in the fire.
  4. to suffer spiritual death: Save us, lest we perish.


  1. perish the thought, may it never happen: used facetiously or as an afterthought of foreboding.

Origin of perish 1200–50; Middle English perissen Old French periss-, long stem of perir Latin perīre to perish, literally, go through, spend fully, equivalent to per- per- + īre to goRelated formsper·ish·less, adjectiveper·ish·ment, nounun·per·ished, adjectiveSynonyms for perish 1. expire. 2. wither, shrivel, rot, molder, vanish.Synonym study 1. See die1.Antonyms for perish 2. appear. Related Words for perishing disintegrate, crumble, wither, cease, disappear, vanish, rot, succumb, decease, depart, collapse, pass, corrupt, expire, demise, fall, go, end, waste, decompose Examples from the Web for perishing Contemporary Examples of perishing

  • In “the haste of the workers, the feeling for form itself, the ear and eye for the melody of movements are [. . .] perishing.”

    Zany, Cute, Interesting: What the Words We Use Say About Us

    Benjamin Lytal

    October 23, 2012

  • Historical Examples of perishing

  • Well, pray keep up a good fire, for it is a perishing night.

    The Field of Ice

    Jules Verne

  • Their country is perishing for lack of a knowledge which they cannot supply.

    Leading Articles on Various Subjects

    Hugh Miller

  • The other, so challenged, answered, “When we were perishing of cold and there was a great depth of snow.”



  • In short, romance is perishing from the sea with the universal invasion of steam.

    Six Letters From the Colonies

    Robert Seaton

  • We were surrounded with water, yet perishing 136 with thirst!

    The Rambles of a Rat

    A. L. O. E.

  • British Dictionary definitions for perishing perishing adjective

    1. informal (of weather, etc) extremely cold
    2. slang (intensifier qualifying something undesirable)it’s a perishing nuisance!

    Derived Formsperishingly, adverb perish verb (intr)

    1. to be destroyed or die, esp in an untimely way
    2. (tr sometimes followed by with or from) to cause to sufferwe were perished with cold
    3. to rotleather perishes if exposed to bad weather
    4. perish the thought! may it never be or happen thus


    1. do a perish Australian informal to die or come near to dying of thirst or starvation

    Word Origin for perish C13: from Old French périr, from Latin perīre to pass away entirely, from per- (away) + īre to go Word Origin and History for perishing perish v.

    mid-13c., from periss- present participle stem of Old French perir “perish, be lost, be shipwrecked” (12c.), from Latin perire “to be lost, perish,” literally “to go through,” from per- “through, completely, to destruction” (see per) + ire “to go” (see ion). Related: Perished; perishing.

    Idioms and Phrases with perishing perish

    In addition to the idiom beginning with perish

  • perish the thought
  • also see:

  • publish or perish
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