[ verb en-er-veyt; adjective ih-nur-vit ]
See synonyms for: enervateenervatedenervatingenervation on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),en·er·vat·ed, en·er·vat·ing.
  1. to deprive of force or strength; destroy the vigor of; weaken.


Origin of enervate

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin ēnervātus “weakened” (past participle of ēnervāre ), equivalent to ē- “from, out of” + nerv(us) “sinew” + -ātus adjective suffix; see origin at e-1, nerve, -ate1; compare Anglo-French enervir, French énerver

Other words for enervate

Other words from enervate

  • en·er·va·tion, noun
  • en·er·va·tive, adjective
  • en·er·va·tor, noun
  • non·en·er·vat·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with enervate

Words Nearby enervate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use enervate in a sentence

  • This was the beginning of the fatal practice destined in the end to enervate France and demoralize the army.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte | William Milligan Sloane
  • Then as they are almost all fighting men (tata toa) they are restricted that they may not weaken or enervate themselves.

  • What is the use of wondrous gifts of language, if they are employed to enervate, p. 19and not to ennoble, their hearers?

    The Claims of Labour | Arthur Helps
  • To enervate, irritate, or corrupt the body is to produce a like effect upon the mind.

  • They are full of weaknesses and pains that wear out life and enervate all their mental and spiritual powers.

British Dictionary definitions for enervate


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

  1. deprived of strength or vitality; weakened

Origin of enervate

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

Derived forms of enervate

  • enervation, noun
  • enervative, adjective
  • enervator, 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