Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.
wither on the vine
1. Literally (of fruit), to shrivel and die before being harvested, due to neglect or lack of resources. With the horrible drought we've had this summer, nearly all of the fruit in my orchards withered on the vine. You forgot to water my tomato plant! Now they've all withered on the vine!
2. By extension, to fail prematurely or not come to fruition, as due to being ignored, neglected, impractical, or without the necessary means to succeed. The president made sweeping promises during his campaign, but many of those have withered on the vine. Many of the resources for students with learning disabilities have withered on the vine following the school board's budget cuts.
to shrivel up; to shrink up. Soon, the wart withered away. Many of our roses withered away in the hot sun.
wither on the vineand die on the vine
1. Lit. [for fruit] to shrivel on the vine or stem, unharvested. If we don't get out there into the field, the grapes will wither on the vine. The apples will die on the vine if not picked soon.
2. . Fig. [for someone or something] to be ignored or neglected and thereby be wasted. I hope I get a part in the play. I don't want to just die on the vine. Fred thinks he is withering on the vine because no one has chosen him.
to shrivel up. It was so hot that the leaves of the trees withered up.
wither on the vine
Fail to come to fruition, as in This building project will wither on the vine if they don't agree on a price. This expression alludes to grapes shriveling and drying up because they were not picked when ripe.
wither on the vineLITERARY or
die on the vineAMERICAN, LITERARY
If something withers on the vine, it fails or is destroyed because nobody supports it or does anything to make it successful. The chance to make peace certainly exists, but could still wither on the vine. I talked to people all over this state who are worried that the American dream is dying on the vine.
wither on the vinefail to be implemented or dealt with because of neglect or inaction.
The image of grapes failing to grow is probably a reference to various passages in the Bible in which a withered vine is used as a metaphor for a state of physical or spiritual impoverishment.
ˌwither on the ˈvine(formal) gradually come to an end or stop being effective: He used to be so ambitious, but his ambition seems to have withered on the vine.
If a grape withers on the vine, it dries up and dies before it can be picked.