fatigue

noun
fa·​tigue | \ fə-ˈtēg How to pronounce fatigue (audio) \

Definition of fatigue

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : labor
b : manual or menial work (such as the cleaning up of a camp area) performed by military personnel
c fatigues plural : the uniform or work clothing worn on fatigue and in the field
2a : weariness or exhaustion from labor, exertion, or stress We were overcome by fatigue after the long hike.
b : the temporary loss of power to respond that is induced in a sensory receptor (see receptor sense a) or motor (see motor entry 2 sense 1) end organ by continued stimulation
c : a state or attitude of indifference or apathy brought on by overexposure (as to a repeated series of similar events or appeals) … a super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton launched within days of Barack Obama's 2013 inauguration. Voter fatigue is just one drawback to the long campaigns, though.— Martin Wisckol Most of the Romney voters they visited were fairly chipper, but there is an air of election fatigue in a state where most television commercial breaks are dominated by attack ads and the phone rings off the hook with campaign calls.— Daniel Malloy and Katie Leslie Waning media coverage of a humanitarian crisis is usually a precursor to "donor fatigue," in which assistance from other nations fades.Christian Science Monitor — see also compassion fatigue
3 : the tendency of a material to break under repeated stress metal fatigue

fatigue

verb
fatigued; fatiguing

Definition of fatigue (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to weary with labor or exertion
2 : to induce a condition of fatigue in

intransitive verb

: to suffer fatigue

fatigue

adjective

Definition of fatigue (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : consisting of, done, or used in fatigue fatigue detail
2 : belonging to fatigues a fatigue cap

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Choose the Right Synonym for fatigue

Verb

tire, weary, fatigue, exhaust, jade mean to make or become unable or unwilling to continue. tire implies a draining of one's strength or patience. the long ride tired us out weary stresses tiring until one is unable to endure more of the same thing. wearied of the constant arguing fatigue suggests great lassitude from excessive strain or undue effort. fatigued by the day's chores exhaust implies complete draining of strength by hard exertion. shoveling snow exhausted him jade suggests the loss of all freshness and eagerness. appetites jaded by overindulgence

Why are uniforms called fatigues?

Fatigue is a basic part of today’s vocabulary, but, surprisingly, only dates back to the mid-17th century in English. It’s not used even a single time by Shakespeare or in the King James Bible. It came to English from French and ultimately derives from the Latin verb fatigare, meaning “to tire out” or “to exhaust.” An earlier direct borrowing into English from Latin, fatigate, was used in the 1500s before disappearing (it’s now labeled obsolete in our dictionaries). Fatigue entered English first as a noun, then the verb (“the work fatigues me”) and adjective (“a fatigue detail”) came along. The noun was used to mean both “the state of being tired” and “labor,” “effort,” or “trouble”—a sense that seems old-fashioned today. Early uses of fatigue meaning “effort” or “labor” often were in military contexts:

the fatigue of our long march

the fatigues of war

the fatigues of a long journey

they no longer have fatigue without pay

toil and fatigue

These senses led to two military-specific uses of fatigue. First, it came to mean “manual or menial work performed by military personnel,” and then, consequently, “the uniform or work clothing worn on fatigue detail and in the field.” This is how fatigues came to mean “uniform” in the military. When your job seems to be all work and no play, even your clothes are tired.

Examples of fatigue in a Sentence

Noun We were overcome by fatigue after the long journey. The drug's side effects include headache and fatigue. soldiers wearing combat boots and fatigues The cracks in the engine were caused by metal fatigue. Verb the rescue workers pressed on, though their efforts to reach the miners had almost completely fatigued them
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The device uses radio frequency communications to interface with wearable and embedded sensors that could collect information such as vital signs, soldier stress, heat/cold injuries, local environmental data, and signs of fatigue. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 4 Oct. 2021 Now, 18 months into the pandemic, there are signs of Peloton fatigue. Jen Murphy, WSJ, 1 Oct. 2021 Allison Gabriel, a professor at the University of Arizona, co-authored a study that suggested appearing on camera may contribute to the feeling of Zoom fatigue. Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN, 24 Sep. 2021 On the flip side, European captain Padraig Harrington will have to keep a close eye on his quartet of 40-somethings — Garcia, Westwood, Poulter and Casey — for signs of fatigue. Jim Litke, ajc, 24 Sep. 2021 Marsh wasn’t quite himself at the beginning of the season, showing signs of fatigue, according to Skinner. Michael Osipoff, chicagotribune.com, 21 Sep. 2021 How much interest voters will muster to stay engaged remains to be seen, but the top contenders in Tuesday’s gubernatorial recall showed few signs of fatigue going into their final weekend. Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2021 Marion Nestle, an author and nutrition professor at New York University, said that children’s pandemic weight gain may also be a signal of parental fatigue. Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2021 The latest surge only added to that sense of fatigue. Dallas News, 14 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Thanks to an off-set grip, which sees the thumb handle slightly shorted than the finger handle, your elbow and wrist will not fatigue. Sarah Meyers, Robb Report, 2 Aug. 2021 That’s a long and involved debate, but one of the hypotheses is that women’s muscles fatigue more slowly than men’s. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, 27 June 2021 New riders or cyclists who suddenly tack on extra miles often feel pain in the neck and low back as these areas fatigue fastest, says Ms. Holden. Jen Murphy, WSJ, 5 June 2021 Whitmer has pointed not to a lack of the necessary powers, but to fatigue among Michigan residents with her use of those powers and concerns about compliance. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 18 Apr. 2021 There’s also fatigue to consider given the heat forecast for Sunday and the fact seven players were involved in the Champions League final two weeks ago when Chelsea beat Manchester City. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 13 June 2021 Pitchers are usually at 75 or more pitches and starting to fatigue. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 29 May 2021 Publicly, Popovich has declined to attribute Mills’ nosediving numbers to fatigue. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 7 May 2021 Whitmer has pointed not to a lack of the necessary powers but to fatigue among Michigan residents with her use of those powers and concerns about compliance. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 19 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Or place cushioned anti-fatigue mats at high-risk spots like the shower entrance and in front of the sink. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, 8 Oct. 2021 Anti-fatigue mats also combat joint and muscle pain. Samantha Driscoll, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Apr. 2021 Anti-fatigue floor mats can reduce discomfort and provide support while standing at a desk. Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Feb. 2021 The Flybold Electric Standing Desk Frame also comes complete with its own anti-fatigue mat to help ward off any foot pain over long standing sessions. Jon Martindale, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2021 This anti-fatigue mat makes standing in front of the stove or prep space extra comfortable by relieving lower back pressure. Micolette Davis, Chron, 7 Dec. 2020

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

Noun

1669, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1693, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1774, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fatigue

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

French, from Middle French, from fatiguer to fatigue, from Latin fatigare; akin to Latin affatim sufficiently

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Time Traveler for fatigue

Time Traveler

The first known use of fatigue was in 1669

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Dictionary Entries Near fatigue

fatigate

fatigue

fatigue call

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Statistics for fatigue

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fatigue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fatigue. Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for fatigue

fatigue

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fatigue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the state of being very tired : extreme weariness
: the uniform that soldiers wear when they are doing physical work
: the tendency of a material (such as metal) to break after being bent or moved many times

fatigue

verb

English Language Learners Definition of fatigue (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (someone) tired

fatigue

noun
fa·​tigue | \ fə-ˈtēg How to pronounce fatigue (audio) \

Kids Definition of fatigue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a state of being very tired
2 fatigues plural : the uniform worn by members of the military for physical labor

fatigue

verb
fatigued; fatiguing

Kids Definition of fatigue (Entry 2 of 2)

: to tire by work or exertion a fatiguing hike

fatigue

noun
fa·​tigue | \ fə-ˈtēg How to pronounce fatigue (audio) \

Medical Definition of fatigue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : weariness or exhaustion from labor, exertion, or stress
2 : the temporary loss of power to respond induced in a sensory receptor or motor end organ by continued stimulation

fatigue

verb
fatigued; fatiguing

Medical Definition of fatigue (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to weary with labor or exertion
2 : to induce a condition of fatigue in (as an effector organ)

intransitive verb

: to be affected with fatigue : become weary

More from Merriam-Webster on fatigue

Nglish: Translation of fatigue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fatigue for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fatigue

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