AskDefine | Define shrivel

Dictionary Definition

shrivel

Verb

1 wither, especially with a loss of moisture; "The fruit dried and shriveled" [syn: shrivel up, shrink, wither]
2 decrease in size, range, or extent; "His earnings shrank"; "My courage shrivelled when I saw the task before me" [syn: shrink] [also: shrivelling, shrivelled]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Verb

(UK) (US)
  1. To collapse inward; to crumble.
    I saw him shrivel on the ground in fear.
  2. To become wrinkled.
    His fingers were shriveled from being in the bath for too long.

Translations

collapse inward
become wrinkled

Extensive Definition

Shrivelling is a natural phenomenon where an object, with an attached sub-elastic covering, has its interior volume reduced in some way. The covering, which cannot contract any further, is then obliged to wrinkle and buckle, in order to preserve surface area while containing the lesser volume.
For example, in raisin production manufacturers shrivel grapes by drying (desiccating) them.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Sanforize, age, air-dry, anhydrate, attenuate, bake, blot, brush, burn, cheat the undertaker, consume, contract, cure, curl up, decline, dehumidify, dehydrate, desiccate, diminish, dodder, drain, droop, dry, dry up, emacerate, emaciate, evaporate, exsiccate, fade, fade away, fail, fire, flag, fossilize, get along, get on, grow old, insolate, kiln, languish, macerate, mummify, mummy, parch, pine, preshrink, pucker up, rub, scorch, sear, shake, shrink, shrivel up, sink, smoke, soak up, sponge, sun, sun-dry, swab, thin, torrefy, totter, towel, turn gray, turn white, wane, waste, waste away, weazen, welter, wilt, wipe, wither, wizen, wrinkle
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