wither

(redirected from withered)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to withered: withered away

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 ?
I looked, or seemed to look, and then I thought that the hanging jaw moved, and from it came a voice that was harsh and hollow as of one who speaks from an empty belly, through a withered throat.
And Violet said, Yes; so day after day they labored to make a pathway through the frozen earth, that she might reach the roots of the withered flowers; and soon, wherever through the dark galleries she went, the soft light fell upon the roots of flowers, and they with new life spread forth in the warm ground, and forced fresh sap to the blossoms above.
And now, in joyless age, she felt that some withered partner should request her hand, and all unite, in a dance of death, to the music of the funeral bell.
Had I bedizened my aged and broken frame with scarlet and embroidery--had I forced my withered lips to smile at my dead heart--that might have been mockery, or madness.
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 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.
Ancient and withered, blackened by many years of the smoke of the devil-devil house, nevertheless the shrunken, mummy-like face was unmistakably Chinese.
Froth and foam it was, quick-vanishing as he awoke, non-existent as Skipper, Skipper's head on the withered knees of Bashti in the lofty grass house.
Hesiod's diction is in the main Homeric, but one of his charms is the use of quaint allusive phrases derived, perhaps, from a pre- Hesiodic peasant poetry: thus the season when Boreas blows is the time when `the Boneless One gnaws his foot by his fireless hearth in his cheerless house'; to cut one's nails is `to sever the withered from the quick upon that which has five branches'; similarly the burglar is the `day-sleeper', and the serpent is the `hairless one'.
The healthiest of them resembled, to use an expression of Marryat's, "Hunger's eldest son when he had come of age"; the others were either blind, had withered legs and crept about on their hands, or withered arms and fingerless hands.
And when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.
And out of reverence for the goal and the heir, he will hang up no more withered wreaths in the sanctuary of life.
Pott darted a look of contempt, which might have withered an anchor.
And do you think,' said the schoolmaster, marking the glance she had thrown around, 'that an unvisited grave, a withered tree, a faded flower or two, are tokens of forgetfulness or cold neglect?