Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

shrivel - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb shrivel pronunciation in British English /ˈʃrɪv(ə)l/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleshrivelling
past tenseshrivelled
past participleshrivelled
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

or shrivel up shrivel pronunciation in British English

  1. 1
    [intransitive] if something such as a plant shrivels or shrivels up, it becomes smaller and thinner than usual and it does not look fresh and healthy

    The leaves had shrivelled up in the summer heat.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make something smaller and thinner than usual

      The fierce heat had shrivelled the meat.

derived word




to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play