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[wee-kuh n] /ˈwi kən/
verb (used with object)
to make weak or weaker.
Phonetics. to change (a speech sound) to an articulation requiring less effort, as from geminate to nongeminate or from stop to fricative.
verb (used without object)
to become weak or weaker.
Origin of weaken
First recorded in 1520-30; weak + -en1
Related forms
weakener, noun
reweaken, verb
unweakened, adjective
unweakening, adjective
1, 3. enfeeble, debilitate, enervate, undermine, sap, exhaust, deplete, lessen, diminish, lower, reduce, impair, minimize, invalidate.
1, 3. strengthen. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for weakened
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was the boy's weakened condition that was turning her revenge into tragedy.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Since my health has been weakened, I believe I have acquired more conscience.

  • Perhaps it was his unquestionable distress that weakened her.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • Like a torrent they swept down upon the cowed, weakened Mercutians.

    Slaves of Mercury Nat Schachner
  • I have had some practice, but illness has so weakened me that I have given up the forest.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for weakened


to become or cause to become weak or weaker
Derived Forms
weakener, 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 weakened



1520s, from weak + -en (1). The earlier verb was simply weak (late 14c.). Related: Weakened; weakening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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