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See more synonyms for debilitate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), de·bil·i·tat·ed, de·bil·i·tat·ing.
  1. to make weak or feeble; enfeeble: The siege of pneumonia debilitated her completely.
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Origin of debilitate

1525–35; < Latin dēbilitātus (past participle of dēbilitāre), equivalent to dēbilit-, stem of dēbilis weak + -ātus -ate1
Related formsde·bil·i·tant, nounde·bil·i·ta·tion, nounde·bil·i·ta·tive, adjectivenon·de·bil·i·tat·ing, adjectivenon·de·bil·i·ta·tion, nounnon·de·bil·i·ta·tive, adjectiveo·ver·de·bil·i·tate, verb (used with object), o·ver·de·bil·i·tat·ed, o·ver·de·bil·i·tat·ing.un·de·bil·i·tat·ed, adjectiveun·de·bil·i·tat·ing, adjectiveun·de·bil·i·ta·tive, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for debilitate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I will not debilitate the cook; I will not exhaust the fowl-yard.

    No Defense, Complete

    Gilbert Parker

  • He was one of those whom books cannot debilitate, nor a life of study incapacitate for the study of life.

  • Taking hot food or drink, habitually, tends to debilitate all the organs thus needlessly excited.

    A Treatise on Domestic Economy

    Catherine Esther Beecher

  • Many suppose that a warm bath exposes a person more readily to take cold; and that it tends to debilitate the system.

    A Treatise on Domestic Economy

    Catherine Esther Beecher

  • This is to prevent the free escape of water, which might debilitate the starch-making cells.

    Trees Worth Knowing

    Julia Ellen Rogers

British Dictionary definitions for debilitate


  1. (tr) to make feeble; weaken
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Derived Formsdebilitation, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin dēbilitāre, from dēbilis weak
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 debilitate


1530s, from Latin debilitatus, past participle of debilitare "to weaken," from debilis "weak" (see debility). Related: Debilitated; debilitating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper