emas·​cu·​late | \ i-ˈma-skyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce emasculate (audio) \
emasculated; emasculating

Definition of emasculate

transitive verb

1 : to deprive of strength, vigor, or spirit : weaken
2 : to deprive of virility or procreative power : castrate
3 : to remove the androecium of (a flower) in the process of artificial cross-pollination

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Other Words from emasculate

emasculate \ i-​ˈma-​skyə-​lət How to pronounce emasculate (audio) \ adjective
emasculation \ i-​ˌma-​skyə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce emasculation (audio) \ noun
emasculator \ i-​ˈma-​skyə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce emasculator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for emasculate



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Choose the Right Synonym for emasculate

unnerve, enervate, unman, emasculate mean to deprive of strength or vigor and the capacity for effective action. unnerve implies marked often temporary loss of courage, self-control, or power to act. unnerved by the near collision enervate suggests a gradual physical or moral weakening (as through luxury or indolence) until one is too feeble to make an effort. a nation's youth enervated by affluence and leisure unman implies a loss of manly vigor, fortitude, or spirit. a soldier unmanned by the terrors of battle emasculate stresses a depriving of characteristic force by removing something essential. an amendment that emasculates existing safeguards

Examples of emasculate in a Sentence

He plays the role of a meek husband who has been emasculated by his domineering wife. Critics charged that this change would emasculate the law.
Recent Examples on the Web He was fitted with a catheter, which was emasculating enough, but the specter of prostate cancer also loomed. Carolita Johnson, Longreads, "A Woman’s Work: Till Death Do Us Part," 28 Oct. 2019 For many Asian American men, who’ve had a history of being emasculated in Hollywood, Bruce Lee remains an important figure, representing strength and power. NBC News, "Quentin Tarantino won't recut 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' after film is pulled in China," 21 Oct. 2019 Dear Miss Manners: My close friend is married to a woman who is very critical of him in front of his friends, often in emasculating ways. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Slight misspelling makes her feel slighted," 4 Oct. 2019 The guy just suffered a massive, historic, emasculating 70-point victory. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Ben Penn’s Bad-Faith Hit Job on Leif Olson," 3 Sep. 2019 Houser blames a variety of factors for that situation from lack of government support for spay-and-neuter programs to a perception by some pet owners that altering their pets emasculates them and it’s against their belief. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Special Pals marks 40 years," 21 Aug. 2019 Anticlericals blamed the Church for supposedly subverting science, emasculating the masses, and encouraging the weak. K.n.c., The Economist, "The radical politics of futurists and fascists—and us, here, today," 19 July 2019 My letter to the editor would have emasculated those louts for ignoring not just Pat Bowlen, but so many other great Broncos over the years. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Keep the Clean Power Plan; Don’t blame the scooter; America can do better on climate; Hall of Fame is run by louts (6/25/19)," 26 June 2019 The current dispute, however, is not over pay and benefits directly, but focuses on Trump’s desire to emasculate federal labor organizations. Joe Davidson, Washington Post, "Social Security, HUD act on Trump’s orders in move to emasculate unions," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emasculate.' 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 emasculate

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for emasculate

Latin emasculatus, past participle of emasculare, from e- + masculus male — more at male

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Time Traveler for emasculate

Time Traveler

The first known use of emasculate was in 1607

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Statistics for emasculate

Last Updated

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Emasculate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emasculate. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for emasculate


How to pronounce emasculate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of emasculate

: to make (a man) feel less masculine : to deprive (a man) of his male strength, role, etc.
: to make (something) weaker or less effective


transitive verb
emas·​cu·​late | \ i-ˈmas-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce emasculate (audio) \
emasculated; emasculating

Medical Definition of emasculate

: to deprive of virility or procreative power : castrate

Other Words from emasculate

emasculation \ -​ˌmas-​kyə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce emasculation (audio) \ noun


transitive verb
emas·​cu·​late | \ i-ˈmas-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce emasculate (audio) \
emasculated; emasculating

Legal Definition of emasculate

: to deprive (as a law or judicial opinion) of force or effectiveness

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More from Merriam-Webster on emasculate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for emasculate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with emasculate

Spanish Central: Translation of emasculate

Nglish: Translation of emasculate for Spanish Speakers

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