shrivel up


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shrivel up

1. To become totally withered or wrinkled, as due to an absence or departure of water. All the plants in the house shriveled up while we were away because Jason forgot to water them for us. Isn't weird how your fingers shrivel up like a prune when you're in the bath for too long?
2. To cause someone or something to become totally withered or wrinkled, as due to an absence or departure of water. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shrivel" and "up." The heat in this part of the country is enough to shrivel up any plant you leave outside, so most people's lawns are either artificial or filled with gravel. This dehydration machine will shrivel your fruit up so that it will last longer without going bad.
3. To cause someone or something to become totally withered or wrinkled, as due to an absence or departure of water. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shrivel" and "up." The heat in this part of the country is enough to shrivel up any plant you leave outside, so most people's lawns are either artificial or filled with gravel. This dehydration machine will shrivel your fruit up so that it will last longer without going bad.
4. To dwindle or lose potency, especially gradually over time. Our clients' patience has shriveled up—they want an answer, now! I could feel my interest in her play shriveling up by the minute.
See also: up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

shrivel up

v.
1. To become completely shrunken and wrinkled: The leaves shriveled up and fell off the tree.
2. To cause something to become completely shrunken and wrinkled: The lack of rain shriveled up my roses. Soaking in the tub for too long will shrivel your skin up.
3. To lose vitality or intensity; dwindle: The buying power of the dollar shriveled up as inflation worsened.
See also: up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Do it on a dry, sunny day and the weed seedlings can be left on the surface of the ground to shrivel up in the sun.
he'd shrivel up into a curly blond-haired dust bunny and blow away on the Santa Ana winds...." (The late word-maven Ted Bernstein was all over this goof forty years ago when he wrote in More Language That Needs Watching (Channel Press): "This kid needs straightening out.
Sometimes our hopes shrivel up. The pattern of life that we imagined to be ours is undone and we surrender to hopelessness and despair; in short, we die.
I won't let him shrivel up. I'm not letting that happen to him."
Without it, they couldn't father children, US scientists revealed yesterday - their testicles would simply shrivel up.