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 emasculate (audio) \ noun
emasculator \ i-​ˈma-​skyə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce emasculate (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 Asian men have generally been emasculated, demasculinized, and historically, black men have often been over-sexualized, the reverse. Annie Howard, Billboard, "Alan Yang & Charlamagne Tha God Talk Whitewashing & Creating Comedy With Aziz Ansari: 'Emerging Hollywood'," 16 May 2019 Both women know that forceful men are all often described as strong and assertive, while forceful women are dismissed as angry, emasculating or hectoring. Charlotte Alter, Time, "Gender Politics at the Democratic Debate Show How Hard It Is To Fight Like a Girl," 21 Nov. 2019 Here is a president who seems not to feel shame but who does seem to fear, more than anything else, appearing weak or emasculated. Washington Post, "Kellyanne and George Conway’s tawdry love triangle with all of us," 10 Oct. 2019 The terms are in and of themselves wrong, but being judged on those terms, there’s a level of shame, of feeling emasculated. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "What Ta-Nehisi Coates Wants to Remember," 29 Sep. 2019 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

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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Cite this Entry

“Emasculate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emasculate. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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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 emasculate (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

More from Merriam-Webster on emasculate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for emasculate

Nglish: Translation of emasculate for Spanish Speakers

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