shriv·el / ˈshrivəl/ • v. (-eled, -el·ing; Brit. -elled, -el·ling) wrinkle and contract or cause to wrinkle and contract, esp. due to loss of moisture: [intr.] the flowers simply shriveled up| [tr.] a heat wave so intense that it shriveled the grapes in every vineyard. ∎ [intr.] fig. lose momentum, will, or desire; become insignificant or ineffectual: under the reign of the Nazis, German universities shriveled as centers of learning. ∎ [tr.] fig. cause to feel worthless or insignificant: she shriveled him with one glance.