2. Used figuratively to indicate a loss of hope or opportunity: "Wanda's hopes of going to Ireland this summer seem to wither with the passing of each week."
Kim asked Jim, whither shall we go before our hopes wither and we forget completely that we were going to go to the races? Well, Kim, let's go now because I want to see my favorite race horse which measures seven hands at the withers.
2. To lose the freshness of youth, as from age: At the age of 30, Sam's youth had withered away.
3. To make flaccid, shrunken, or dry, as from loss of moisture; cause to lose freshness, bloom, vigor, etc.: Sharon is ashamed to admit that the lettuce withered in her refrigerator because she forgot to use it in time.
4. To abash, as with a scathing glance: Shana gave Josh a look that withered him.
5. Etymology: an alteration of Middle English wydderen, "dry up, shrivel" (c.1300), apparently a differentiated and special use of wederen, "to expose to weather".
There is an indication of a possible relationship with the German verwittern, "to become weather-beaten"; from Witter, "weather".