en·​fee·​ble | \ in-ˈfē-bəl How to pronounce enfeeble (audio) , en- \
enfeebled; enfeebling\ in-​ˈfē-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce enfeebling (audio) , en-​ \

Definition of enfeeble

transitive verb

: to make feeble : deprive of strength

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Other Words from enfeeble

enfeeblement \ in-​ˈfē-​bəl-​mənt How to pronounce enfeeblement (audio) , en-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for enfeeble

weaken, enfeeble, debilitate, undermine, sap, cripple, disable mean to lose or cause to lose strength or vigor. weaken may imply loss of physical strength, health, soundness, or stability or of quality, intensity, or effective power. a disease that weakens the body's defenses enfeeble implies a condition of marked weakness and helplessness. enfeebled by starvation debilitate suggests a less marked or more temporary impairment of strength or vitality. the debilitating effects of surgery undermine and sap suggest a weakening by something working surreptitiously and insidiously. a poor diet undermines your health drugs had sapped his ability to think cripple implies causing a serious loss of functioning power through damaging or removing an essential part or element. crippled by arthritis disable suggests bringing about impairment or limitation in a physical or mental ability. disabled by an injury sustained at work

Examples of enfeeble in a Sentence

long periods of being confined to a hospital bed will enfeeble anyone
Recent Examples on the Web India entered its sixth week of a stringent nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, pushing an economy already enfeebled before the pandemic to the brink of collapse. Fox News, "India's PM announces massive $260B coronavirus relief package," 12 May 2020 Whatever the truth, the risk is the Anwar and Azmin camps wear each other down and enfeeble the Pakatan Harapan alliance, which Mahathir chairs. Washington Post, "Mahathir Looks Beyond Malaysia’s First Century," 8 July 2019 Meanwhile, the danger AI poses is rather of human tyranny, with machines enfeebling most people, physically and intellectually, so as to leave them at the mercy of a master-class. K.n.c., The Economist, "The radical politics of futurists and fascists—and us, here, today," 19 July 2019 More often than not, the result is to blunt the impact of the critique and enfeeble the opposition. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "The Red Hen Affair: Demands for 'civility' are almost always aimed at shutting down free speech," 25 June 2018 Mr Macron has been helped by a big parliamentary majority, and an opposition enfeebled by his new party’s rise. The Economist, "Emmanuel Macron faces a wave of strikes and protests in France," 14 Apr. 2018 The same anxiety turned contempt attends much of today’s social media, notably Twitter and Snapchat, where the sheen of fatuousness, cryptic UX, and clubhouse jargon appears designed to humiliate and enfeeble. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "The Great Tech Panic: The Internet Is the Uncanniest Valley," 25 Aug. 2017

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for enfeeble

Middle English enfeblen, from Anglo-French enfebler, enfeblir, from en- + feble feeble

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Time Traveler for enfeeble

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The first known use of enfeeble was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Enfeeble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enfeeble. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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