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

Definition of enfeeble

transitive verb

: to make feeble : deprive of strength

Other Words from enfeeble

enfeeblement \ in-​ˈfē-​bəl-​mənt How to pronounce enfeeble (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 The goal is to blunt criticism and enfeeble the opposition. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2021 The move may, in effect, enfeeble America's technology sector and, worse yet, leave the root problem—investigating terrorism, child predation, and criminality—unresolved as wrongdoers flock to alternative products. Robert Hackett, Fortune, 29 June 2020 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 25 Aug. 2017 See More

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.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Enfeeble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enfeeble. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on enfeeble

Nglish: Translation of enfeeble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enfeeble for Arabic Speakers


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