shrivel [shriv-uhl] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for shrivel on verb (used with or without object), shriv·eled, shriv·el·ing or (especially British) shriv·elled, shriv·el·ling.

  1. to contract and wrinkle, as from great heat, cold, or dryness.
  2. to wither; make or become helpless or useless.

Origin of shrivel 1595–1605; akin to Swedish skroflig uneven, rough (perhaps orig. wrinkled, shrunken), dialectal Swedish skryvla to wrinkle, Old English sceorfan to roughen; see scurf Related formsun·shriv·eled, adjectiveun·shriv·elled, adjectiveSynonyms for shrivel See more synonyms for on 1. shrink. See wither. Related Words for shrivel dwindle, wilt, wither, shrink, welter, sear, burn, mummify, contract, parch, desiccate, stale, wrinkle, scorch, fossilize, mummy, wizen Examples from the Web for shrivel Contemporary Examples of shrivel

  • For some time, those contractors have faced the reality of a GOP increasingly willing to shrivel defense budgets.

    The Dems’ Fork in the Road

    David Frum

    November 12, 2013

  • Presidential power, like a muscle, can strengthen if exercised effectively—or shrivel.

    Obama and Syria: Fighting the Wimp Factor

    Gil Troy

    September 18, 2013

  • However, if asked to bet whether right-wing apoplexy will grow or shrivel, the smart money obviously has to say the former.

    The Best Republican Efforts Are Not Enough to Defund Obamacare

    Michael Tomasky

    August 23, 2013

  • When their fears are realized and the island looks likely to “shrivel and die” the seamen are driven to drastic measures.

    Must Read Novels: Ballard, Dybek, and Krasznahorkai

    Jacob Silverman, Malcolm Forbes, John McIntyre

    April 23, 2012

  • Historical Examples of shrivel

  • If you put the syrup hot to the ginger at first, it will shrink and shrivel.

    Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches

    Eliza Leslie

  • “Shrivel the falsehood” from us if we say we love Thee but obey Thee not!

    Things as They Are

    Amy Wilson-Carmichael

  • I was commencin’ to feel the shrivel, so it’s California for Phoebe and me.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Draughts, however, should be avoided or stems and berries will shrivel.

    Manual of American Grape-Growing

    U. P. Hedrick

  • The thrift of New England did often shrivel into penuriousness.

    A Little Girl in Old Salem

    Amanda Minnie Douglas

  • British Dictionary definitions for shrivel shrivel verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled

    1. to make or become shrunken and withered
    2. to lose or cause to lose vitality

    Word Origin for shrivel C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish dialect skryvla wrinkle Word Origin and History for shrivel v.

    1560s (implied in shriveled), of unknown origin, not found in Middle English; perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. Swedish skryvla “to wrinkle, to shrivel”), perhaps ultimately connected with shrimp (n.) and shrink (v.). Related: Shriveled; shriveling.

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