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See more synonyms for debility on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural de·bil·i·ties.
  1. a weakened or enfeebled state; weakness: Debility prevented him from getting out of bed.
  2. a particular mental or physical handicap; disability.
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Origin of debility

1425–75; late Middle English debylite < Middle French debilite < Latin dēbilitās, equivalent to dēbil(is) weak + -itās -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for debility

Historical Examples

  • It is wrong that the Unknown should profit by man's debility and ignorance.

    The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete

    Emile Zola

  • It affects the nerves, causing irritability and debility in them.

  • One is not accountable for words uttered in moments of debility and hunger.

    Sir Jasper Carew

    Charles James Lever

  • This is, generally, the result of debility, or severe labor.

  • They lead to excitement and debility, sometimes to danger and disease.

    The Physical Life of Woman:

    Dr. George H Napheys

British Dictionary definitions for debility


noun plural -ties
  1. weakness or infirmity
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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 debility


early 15c., from Middle French debilite (Modern French débilité) or directly from Latin debilitatem (nominative debilitas) "a laming, crippling, weakening," from debilis "lame, disabled, crippled," figuratively "weak, helpless," from de- "from, away" (see de-) + -bilis "strength," from PIE root *bel- (see Bolshevik).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

debility in Medicine


  1. The state of being weak or feeble; infirmity.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.