debility

noun

de·​bil·​i·​ty di-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce debility (audio)
dē-
plural debilities

Examples of debility in a Sentence

The disease leads to debility but rarely kills. the debilities of elderly people
Recent Examples on the Web In Amy Schumer’s comedy special Emergency Contact, the comedian talks about developing hyperemesis gravidarum, a potentially life-threatening condition that causes extreme, persistent nausea and vomiting and might lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and debility. Brianna Holt, Vogue, 7 July 2023 Given their ages and debilities, these soldiers had been deemed unfit for active service. David Grann, The New Yorker, 28 Feb. 2023 As the wealth of nations increases and exposure to toxins and infectious agents drops, aging will become the cause of most disease, debility, and death. George Church, Discover Magazine, 16 Oct. 2012 The Covid-19 pandemic has driven widespread debility, whether a result of distress or the virus itself, compounded in either case by political abandonment and public health failures. Natalie Shure, The New Republic, 8 Dec. 2022 Has our battle with COVID-19 come to such a standstill that a slow burn of disruption, debility, and death will continue for years to come? Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 8 Oct. 2022 The significant frequency of long Covid, with its potential long-term debility, and the postinfection increased risk of cardiac disease and changes in the brain argue for a high level of caution. WSJ, 3 Apr. 2022 At 40, Baudelaire was a shadow of his former self, crushed by unrepayable debts, suffering the aftereffects of a seemingly minor stroke, and facing the onset of syphilitic debility. Washington Post, 11 May 2022 Rereading recently the Snopes and Studs Lonigan trilogies, I was struck by their insight into the emotional debility and ruthlessness of socially mobile men. New York Times, 3 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'debility.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English debilite, from Middle French debilité, from Latin debilitat-, debilitas, from debilis, from de- de- + -bilis; akin to Sanskrit bala strength

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of debility was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near debility

Cite this Entry

“Debility.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/debility. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

debility

noun
de·​bil·​i·​ty di-ˈbil-ət-ē How to pronounce debility (audio)
plural debilities
: a weakened state

Medical Definition

debility

noun
de·​bil·​i·​ty di-ˈbil-ət-ē How to pronounce debility (audio)
plural debilities
: the quality or state of being weak, feeble, or infirm
especially : physical weakness

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