Etymology
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fade (v.)

early 14c., "lose brightness, grow pale," from Old French fader "become weak, wilt, wither," from fade (adj.) "pale, weak; insipid, tasteless" (12c.), probably from Vulgar Latin *fatidus, which is said to be a blending of Latin fatuus "silly, tasteless" and vapidus "flat, flavorless." Related: Faded; fading. Of sounds, by 1819. Transitive sense from 1590s; in cinematography from 1918.

Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
  Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
    Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
      In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
  Fled is that music:" Do I wake or sleep?
[Keats, from "Ode to a Nightingale"]
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fade (n.)
early 14c., "loss of freshness or vigor," from fade (adj.), c. 1300, " lacking in brilliance; pale, discolored, dull," from Old French fade (see fade (v.)). As a type of tapering hairstyle from 1988 (fade-out style is in a 1985 "Ebony" article on men's haircuts).
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fade-out (n.)
1918, from verbal phrase, from fade (v.) + out (adv.).
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fader (n.)
sound control device, 1931, agent noun from fade (v.).
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unfading (adj.)
from un- (1) "not" + past participle of fade (v.).
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wilt (v.)
1690s, "to fade, droop, wither," probably an alteration of welk "to wilt," probably from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German welken "to wither," cognate with Old High German irwelhen "become soft," from Proto-Germanic *welk-, from PIE root *welg- "wet" (see welkin). Transitive sense of "cause to fade or droop" is from 1809. Related: Wilted; wilting.
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dwindle (v.)

"diminish, become less, shrink," 1590s (Shakespeare), apparently diminutive and frequentative of dwine "waste or pine away," from Middle English dwinen "waste away, fade, vanish," from Old English dwinan, from Proto-Germanic *dwinana (source also of Dutch dwijnen "to vanish," Old Norse dvina, Danish tvine "to pine away," Low German dwinen), from PIE *dheu- (3) "to die" (see die (v.)). Related: Dwindled; dwindling.

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dim (v.)
Origin and meaning of dim

early 13c., dimmen, of eyes, "become unable to see clearly," perhaps in Old English, from the source of dim (adj.). Sense of "become dim, faint, or obscure, fade" is from early 14c. Transitive sense of "to make dim, faint, or obscure" is from late 14c. Related: Dimmed; dimming.

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appall (v.)

also appal, early 14c., "to fade;" c. 1400, "to grow pale," from Old French apalir "become or make pale," from a- "to" (see ad-) + palir "grow pale," from Latin pallere "to be pale" (from PIE root *pel- (1) "pale"). The transitive meaning "cause dismay or shock," is 1530s. Related: Appalled; appalling.

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wane (v.)

Old English wanian "make or become smaller gradually, diminish, decline, fade," from Proto-Germanic *wanōnan (source also of Old Saxon wanon, Old Norse vana, Old Frisian wania, Middle Dutch waenen, Old High German wanon "to wane, to grow less"), from *wano- "lacking," from PIE *weno-, suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out." Related: Waned; waning; wanes.

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