wither

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Related to withered: withered away

wither on the vine

1. Literally (of fruit), to shrivel and die before being harvested, due to neglect, adverse conditions, or lack of resources. You forgot to water my tomato plant! Now they've all withered on the vine! With the horrible drought we've had this summer, nearly all of the fruit in my orchards 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.
See also: on, vine, wither

wither away

to shrivel up; to shrink up. Soon, the wart withered away. Many of our roses withered away in the hot sun.
See also: away, wither

wither on the vine

 and 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.
See also: on, vine, wither

wither up

to shrivel up. It was so hot that the leaves of the trees withered up.
See also: up, wither

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.
See also: on, vine, wither

wither on the vine

LITERARY or

die on the vine

AMERICAN, 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.
See also: on, vine, wither

wither on the vine

fail 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.
See also: on, vine, wither

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.
See also: on, vine, wither
References in classic literature ?
The train of withered mourners, the hoary bridegroom in his shroud, the pale features of the aged bride, and the death-bell tolling through the whole, till its deep voice overpowered the marriage words, all marked the funeral of earthly hopes.
The place of the latter was here supplied by oaks and other of the harder woods; and around their roots clustered a dense and bushy under-growth, leaving, however, barren spaces between the trees, thick strewn with withered leaves.
The middle and lower branches were in luxuriant life, and an excess of vegetation had fringed the trunk almost to the ground; but a blight had apparently stricken the upper part of the oak, and the very topmost bough was withered, sapless, and utterly dead.
Leaning upon the butt of his gun, the muzzle of which rested upon the withered leaves, he was apparently absorbed in the contemplation of some object at his feet.
At that moment the withered topmost bough of the oak loosened itself in the stilly air, and fell in soft, light fragments upon the rock, upon the leaves, upon Reuben, upon his wife and child, and upon Roger Malvin's bones.
The young man had his head buried in his hands, so he did not hear the flutter of the bird's wings, and when he looked up he found the beautiful sapphire lying on the withered violets.
Praskovya Mikhaylovna pressed her hands to her withered breast, opened her mouth, and stood petrified, staring at the pilgrim with dilated eyes.
Kasatsky remembered how he had been told that Pashenka's husband used to beat her, and now, looking at her thin withered neck with prominent veins behind her ears, and her scanty coil of hair, half grey half auburn, he seemed to see just how it had occurred.
It had withered and the fruit had gone rotten and dropped off.