ema·​ci·​ate | \ i-ˈmā-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce emaciate (audio) , -ˈmā-sē-\
emaciated; emaciating

Definition of emaciate

transitive verb

1 : to cause to lose flesh so as to become very thin cattle emaciated by illness
2 : to make feeble

intransitive verb

: to waste away physically

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Other Words from emaciate

emaciation \ i-​ˌmā-​sē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce emaciation (audio) , -​ˌmā-​sē-​ \ noun

Examples of emaciate in a Sentence

without adequate medical supplies, doctors could only look on helplessly as cholera victims continued to emaciate

Recent Examples on the Web

The Herald-Times quotes Monroe County authorities as saying the boy was emaciated and had bruises on his body. Chicago Tribune, Post-Tribune, "State briefs," 3 June 2019 While at the home, police and found a male and female boxer-mix dogs that were emaciated and had wounds caused by insects, according to the release. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "5-year-old accidentally shot by 8-year-old while playing with uncle's gun: police," 6 June 2018 And yes, a pestilence-ravaged, emaciated Prior, abandoned by Louis, his squeamish lover, can have his ceiling crack in two as an Angel (Francesca Faridany) bursts through, endowing him with a terrible, incomprehensible prophecy. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Berkeley Rep revives ‘Angels in America,’ in all its soaring spirit," 29 Apr. 2018 But the Atlantic was emaciated, with absolutely no body fat. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "8 months after farmed-fish escape, lively Atlantic salmon caught 40 miles upriver," 20 Apr. 2018 The Lake Huron king salmon, emaciated as their favorite prey became harder to find, migrated to Lake Michigan in search of alewives. Tony Briscoe, chicagotribune.com, "Invasive mussels help Lake Michigan surpass Superior in clarity but threaten food chain," 26 Jan. 2018 Keith Papini said his wife was emaciated and covered with bruises and burns when she was found. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Sherri Papini case: Sketches released of 2 women suspected of abducting Calif. mom," 25 Oct. 2017 Her face and eyelids were swollen, her skin was gray and her body emaciated. Yvette Youssef, Washington Post, "I’m a doctor. When my mother was dying, I wish her doctors had told me the truth.," 7 May 2017

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

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First Known Use of emaciate

1646, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for emaciate

Latin emaciatus, past participle of emaciare, from e- + macies leanness, from macer lean — more at meager

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Statistics for emaciate

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for emaciate

The first known use of emaciate was in 1646

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More Definitions for emaciate


ema·​ci·​ate | \ i-ˈmā-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce emaciate (audio) \
emaciated; emaciating

Medical Definition of emaciate

transitive verb

: to cause to lose flesh so as to become very thin

intransitive verb

: to waste away physically

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on emaciate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with emaciate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for emaciate

Spanish Central: Translation of emaciate

Nglish: Translation of emaciate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of emaciate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on emaciate

What made you want to look up emaciate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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