[verb en-er-veyt; adjective ih-nur-vit]

verb (used with object), en·er·vat·ed, en·er·vat·ing.

to deprive of force or strength; destroy the vigor of; weaken.


Origin of enervate

1595–1605; < Latin ēnervātus weakened (past participle of ēnervāre) equivalent to ē- e-1 + nerv(us) sinew (see nerve) + -ātus -ate1; compare Anglo-French enervir, French énerver
Related formsen·er·va·tion, nounen·er·va·tive, adjectiveen·er·va·tor, nounnon·en·er·vat·ing, adjective
Can be confusedenergize enervate innervate invigorate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for enervate

Historical Examples of enervate

  • Why, indeed, plunge into dissipations which enervate the body and dull the brain?

  • He had learned the art from them, and London had scarce had time as yet to enervate him.

    The Late Tenant

    Louis Tracy

  • She was careful not to enervate him by luxury or weak indulgence.

    De La Salle Fifth Reader

    Brothers of the Christian Schools

  • Shun all that may enervate or diminish your youthful energies.

  • Then as they are almost all fighting men (tata toa) they are restricted that they may not weaken or enervate themselves.

British Dictionary definitions for enervate


verb (ˈɛnəˌveɪt)

(tr) to deprive of strength or vitality; weaken physically or mentally; debilitate

adjective (ɪˈnɜːvɪt)

deprived of strength or vitality; weakened
Derived Formsenervation, nounenervative, adjectiveenervator, noun

Word Origin for enervate

C17: from Latin ēnervāre to remove the nerves from, from nervus nerve, sinew
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 enervate

c.1600, from Latin enervatus, past participle of enervare "to weaken" (see enervation). Related: Ennervated; ennervating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

enervate in Medicine




To remove a nerve or nerve part.
To cause weakness or a reduction of strength.
Related formsen′er•vation n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.