intransitive verb-·eled or -·elled, -·el·ing or -·el·ling
- to shrink and make or become wrinkled or withered
- to make or become helpless, useless, or inefficient
Origin of shrivelEarly ModE, probably from Scand, as in Swedish dialect, dialectal skryvla, to wrinkle
intr. & tr.v.shriv·eled, shriv·el·ing, shriv·els, or shriv·elled shriv·el·ling
- To become or make shrunken and wrinkled, often by drying: Leaves die, fall, and shrivel. The heat shriveled the unwatered seedlings.
- To lose or cause to lose vitality or intensity: My enthusiasm shriveled as the project wore on. Inflation shriveled the buying power of the dollar.
- To become or make much less or smaller; dwindle.
Origin of shrivelOrigin unknown
(third-person singular simple present shrivels, present participle shrivelling, simple past and past participle shrivelled) (UK) shrivel (third-person singular simple present shrivels, present participle shriveling, simple past and past participle shriveled) (US)