in the face of withering competition


Senior Member
Korea, Korean
The economic shifts are "putting at risk the welfare of millions of citizens of our state in the face of withering competition from an emerging global knowledge economy." (source)

What does "in the face of" mean, despite something or as a result of something?
Does "withering competition" means "competiting getting less competitive"?
I'd like to know what "withering" means, too.
  • Esca

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Hi Wookie,
    "In the face of" means "while faced with."
    "Withering competition" means the competition from the knowledge economy is so great that it has the ability to make the auto industry wither. The competition is not withering; it is withering the car industry.

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I take "in the face of" to mean "whilst facing". "Withering competition" does not mean "competition that is shrinking", it means "competition which has the power to wither (or shrink)".

    To put this together it means that the welfare of millions are being put at risk at a time when the state's industries are facing heavy competition (from global manufacturers). The competition they face is "withering"; it has the power to damage ("wither") business in the state putting companies out of business, as they cannot compete with it.
    < Previous | Next >