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[en-fee-buh l] /ɛnˈfi bəl/
verb (used with object), enfeebled, enfeebling.
to make feeble; weaken:
That bout of pneumonia enfeebled him.
Origin of enfeeble
1300-50; Middle English enfeblen < Old French enfeblir. See en-1, feeble
Related forms
enfeeblement, noun
enfeebler, noun
unenfeebled, adjective
enervate, debilitate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for enfeeble
Historical Examples
  • Nothing could enfeeble that, it seemed heroic, and covered all other laches.

    Pickwickian Studies Percy Fitzgerald
  • Usually they enfeeble the sympathies, and often overlie and smother them.

    Imaginary Conversations and Poems Walter Savage Landor
  • There is no money in the treasury, and so they enfeeble her instead of strengthening.

    The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • There, no petty circle of society can fetter the energies or enfeeble the endeavors.

    Confession W. Gilmore Simms
  • But in poverty there is also a tendency to intimidate, to enfeeble, to benumb.

  • Every time we cut ourselves off from nutrition, we enfeeble them.

    The Teacher George Herbert Palmer
  • It has isolated interests in order to subjugate them; it has sundered all to enfeeble all.

    The Village Rector Honore de Balzac
  • These meditations did not enfeeble my resolution, or slacken my pace.

    Arthur Mervyn Charles Brockden Brown
  • It will, I fear, enfeeble the interest, which he might otherwise take in the result.

  • Self-coddling and the fear of living strenuously, enfeeble character and result in half-successes.

    Teaching the Child Patriotism Kate Upson Clarke
British Dictionary definitions for enfeeble


(transitive) to make weak; deprive of strength
Derived Forms
enfeeblement, noun
enfeebler, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for enfeeble

mid-14c., from Old French enfeblir "become weak," from en- (see en- (1)) + feble (see feeble). Related: Enfeebled; enfeebling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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