withering

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wither away

1. To dry or shrivel up and die due or as due to a lack of water. The neighbor forgot to come water our plants, so they all withered away while we were gone. It is so arid here that you have to water the flowers twice a day to keep them from withering away.
2. To become emaciated. I really don't like how much weight he's been losing for wrestling. He looks like he's withering away into nothing! As the political prisoner continues to wither away as a result of her hunger strike, the government will be forced into action soon.
3. To lose force or vigor and fade away. All of the enthusiasm among his constituency that got the senator elected the first time around has long since withered away. We've got to demonstrate that we're profitable soon, because support from our investors is starting to wither away.
4. To become aged and decrepit; to lose the bloom or freshness of youth. Everyone is scared to death of getting old and withering away, but it's just a natural part of life. Embrace it, I say! I know you think your skin will stay smooth and supple forever, but it'll wither away eventually, just like it does for everyone else.
See also: away, wither

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 up

1. To become dried or shriveled due or as due to a lack of water. The neighbor forgot to come water our plants, so they all withered up while we were gone. It is so arid here that you have to water the flowers twice a day to keep them from withering up.
2. To lose force or vigor and fade away. All of the enthusiasm among his constituency that got the senator elected the first time around has long since withered up. I feel like my excitement and pleasure for things I used to love has withered up recently.
3. To become aged and decrepit; to lose the bloom or freshness of youth. Everyone is scared to death of getting old and withering up, but it's just a natural part of life. Embrace it, I say! I know you think your skin will stay smooth and supple forever, but it'll wither up eventually, just like it does for everyone else.
See also: up, 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