Related formsnon·a·nae·mic, adjectivepseu·do·a·nae·mic, adjectiveun·a·nae·mic, adjective


or a·nae·mic

  1. Pathology. suffering from anemia.
  2. lacking power, vigor, vitality, or colorfulness; listless; weak: an anemic effort; anemic tones.

Origin of anemic

First recorded in 1830–40; anem(ia) + -ic
Related formsa·ne·mi·cal·ly, adverbnon·a·ne·mic, adjectivepseu·do·a·ne·mic, adjectiveun·a·ne·mic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for anaemic

Historical Examples of anaemic

  • I had tended her day and night, and this, in addition to the grief I was suffering, made me anaemic.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • The uniform paleness of her complexion was not that of an anaemic girl.


    Joseph Conrad

  • Do you imagine that this anaemic youth was capable of so frightful an assault?

  • A gaunt, anaemic southerner, who was with the party of idlers, spoke up.

    A Son of the City

    Herman Gastrell Seely

  • Young lovers were pale and anaemic beside that long-married pair.

British Dictionary definitions for anaemic


US anemic

  1. relating to or suffering from anaemia
  2. pale and sickly looking; lacking vitality


  1. the usual US spelling of anaemic
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

Word Origin and History for anaemic

c.1840; see anaemia + -ic. Figurative sense by 1898.



alternative (chiefly U.S.) spelling of anaemic (q.v.). See ae.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper