Synonym Chooser

How does the verb unnerve differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of unnerve are emasculate, enervate, and unman. While all these words 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

When can emasculate be used instead of unnerve?

In some situations, the words emasculate and unnerve are roughly equivalent. However, emasculate stresses a depriving of characteristic force by removing something essential.

an amendment that emasculates existing safeguards

Where would enervate be a reasonable alternative to unnerve?

The words enervate and unnerve are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

When is unman a more appropriate choice than unnerve?

The synonyms unman and unnerve are sometimes interchangeable, but unman implies a loss of manly vigor, fortitude, or spirit.

a soldier unmanned by the terrors of battle

Thesaurus Entries Near unnerve

Cite this Entry

“Unnerve.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

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