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


demoralize, paralyze, undo, unman, unnerve, unstring



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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

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 Handing the Koch brothers and their fellow right-wing ideologues a big victory, the House on Tuesday passed a right-to-try bill that will harm patients and emasculate the Food and Drug Administration. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Giving Koch brothers a big win over patients and the FDA, House sends a right-to-try bill to Trump," 22 May 2018 Smith: The course is emasculated by its back-nine start of three consecutive par-3s, none of them notable. Scott Hanson, The Seattle Times, "Teeing off: The food’s great at historic Jefferson Park Golf Course, but there aren’t many memorable holes," 9 July 2018 Atlas’s horror line, emasculated by the code, became largely divided between Kirby’s stories, starring generic monsters with names like Groot and Fin Fang Foom, and Mr. Ditko’s agonized character studies. Andy Webster, New York Times, "Steve Ditko, Influential Comic-Book Artist Who Helped Create Spider-Man, Dies at 90," 7 July 2018 Elizabeth informed us — and then went to view the Egyptian Temple of Dendur to talk about how Jackie O brought it to the Met while LBJ felt emasculated. Constance Grady, Vox, "The Badass Bitches museum tour: for those who like their art with feminism and swearing," 2 July 2018 The book reaches its final crescendo when a Texas senator is emasculated by Martians and discovered by his intern, who starts to broadcast this inconvenient truth. Yu-yun Hsieh, New York Times, "Familiar Tales Remixed, at the Hands of a Postmodern Master," 27 Apr. 2018 The way @kathygriffin emasculated Kevin Hart is a big insult to blk men. Nick Vadala, Philly.com, "Kathy Griffin slams Kevin Hart over avoiding Trump material onstage," 15 June 2018 Neutral election monitors are muzzled; opposition candidates locked up; districts gerrymandered; constitutions altered; and, in extreme cases, legislatures emasculated. The Economist, "Lessons from the rise of strongmen in weak states," 14 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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Statistics for emasculate

Last Updated

13 May 2019

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Time Traveler for emasculate

The first known use of emasculate was in 1607

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More Definitions for emasculate



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with emasculate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for emasculate

Spanish Central: Translation of emasculate

Nglish: Translation of emasculate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on emasculate

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behavior toward others

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