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intr. & tr.v. shriv·eled, shriv·el·ing, shriv·els or shriv·elled or shriv·el·ling
1. To become or make shrunken and wrinkled, often by drying: Leaves die, fall, and shrivel. The heat shriveled the unwatered seedlings.
2. 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.
3. To become or make much less or smaller; dwindle.

[Origin unknown.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.shriveled - (used especially of vegetation) having lost all moisture; "dried-up grass"; "the desert was edged with sere vegetation"; "shriveled leaves on the unwatered seedlings"; "withered vines"
botany, flora, vegetation - all the plant life in a particular region or period; "Pleistocene vegetation"; "the flora of southern California"; "the botany of China"
dry - free from liquid or moisture; lacking natural or normal moisture or depleted of water; or no longer wet; "dry land"; "dry clothes"; "a dry climate"; "dry splintery boards"; "a dry river bed"; "the paint is dry"
2.shriveled - lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness; "the old woman's shriveled skin"; "he looked shriveled and ill"; "a shrunken old man"; "a lanky scarecrow of a man with withered face and lantern jaws"-W.F.Starkie; "he did well despite his withered arm"; "a wizened little man with frizzy grey hair"
lean, thin - lacking excess flesh; "you can't be too rich or too thin"; "Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look"-Shakespeare
3.shriveled - reduced in efficacy or vitality or intensity; "our shriveled receipts during the storm"; "as the project wore on she found her enthusiasm shriveled"; "the dollar's shrunken buying power"
decreased, reduced - made less in size or amount or degree
References in classic literature ?
In gardens back of houses in Winesburg dry shriveled potato vines lay sprawling on the ground.
The Church, the nobles, and the gentry then turned one grand, all- disapproving frown upon them and shriveled them into sheep
Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it off and it lit in the candle; and before I could budge it was all shriveled up.
But to-day, they brought me a pomegranate (a very dry one it was, and all shriveled up, till there was little left of it but seeds and skin), and having seen no fruit for so long a time, and being faint with hunger, I was tempted just to bite it.
She listened to me in perfect stillness and I felt that she was looking at me with great attention, though I could see only the lower part of her bleached and shriveled face.
The skinny hands were clasped upon the breast; two lustreless tufts of hair stuck to the skull; the skin was brown and sunken; it stretched tightly over the cheek bones and made them stand out sharply; the crisp dead eyes were deep in the sockets; the nostrils were painfully prominent, the end of the nose being gone; the lips had shriveled away from the yellow teeth: and brought down to us through the circling years, and petrified there, was a weird laugh a full century old!
His shriveled old hands were folded and on the finger of one of them Pierre noticed a large cast iron ring with a seal representing a death's head.
Noticing the difficulty with which he walked, and feeling the same extreme lassitude in her own limbs, she proposed that they should rest for a moment where the bracken was brown and shriveled beneath an oak-tree.
He was a little shriveled wisp of a man, with a withered skin the color of mahogany.
The shadow of some past grief rests quietly and impenetrably over the whole man; I see it in his faded blue eyes, on his broad forehead, on his delicate lips, on his pale shriveled cheeks.
He gave no heed to my entreaties, but (as fearless a gentleman as lived in all the South) walked quickly to the center of the room, knelt beside one of the bodies for a closer examination and tenderly raised its blackened and shriveled head in his hands.
The faces, shriveled and defaced, bore no likeness to the faces of men.