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

Definition of debility

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Examples of debility in a Sentence

The disease leads to debility but rarely kills. the debilities of elderly people

Recent Examples on the Web

If the demise of the Warsaw Pact signaled Russian debility, the 1991 Persian Gulf war, when Saddam Hussein tried to gobble up Kuwait, confirmed it. Jacob Heilbrunn, New York Times, "Yearning for an Earlier Era of American Diplomacy," 8 Dec. 2017 Her death certificate, reviewed by The Post, lists four possible causes, a catalogue of overlapping debilities that in some combination killed her: cardiopulmonary arrest, hypoxia, pulmonary edema and morbid obesity. Peter Jamison, Washington Post, "A pregnant woman went to the “hospital from hell” short of breath. Six hours later, she was dead.," 24 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'debility.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of debility

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for debility

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

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Time Traveler for debility

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

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More Definitions for debility



English Language Learners Definition of debility

formal : physical weakness caused by illness or old age


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

Kids Definition of debility

: a weakened state especially of health


de·​bil·​i·​ty | \ di-ˈbil-ət-ē How to pronounce debility (audio) \
plural debilities

Medical Definition of debility

: the quality or state of being weak, feeble, or infirm especially : physical weakness

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More from Merriam-Webster on debility

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with debility

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for debility

Spanish Central: Translation of debility

Nglish: Translation of debility for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of debility for Arabic Speakers

Comments on debility

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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