• synonyms


[verb en-er-veyt; adjective ih-nur-vit]
See more synonyms for enervate 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.
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  1. enervated.
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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. 2018

Related Words

debility, attenuation, enfeeblement, feebleness, weakness, depletion, frailty, exhaustion

Examples from the Web for enervation

Historical Examples

  • There was therefore not only a denaturation, but an enervation of our poetry.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 57, No. 353, March 1845


  • Nothing but harass, enervation, lassitude, deafening clamor.

  • And from this time his enervation was steadily on the increase.

  • The soirée at Sabine Marsy's had caused Vaudrey to feel something like the enervation that follows intoxication.

  • All this time the heavy sobbing of Felicien was heard, as upon the landing-place he wept in the enervation of hope.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for enervation


verb (ˈɛnəˌveɪt)
  1. (tr) to deprive of strength or vitality; weaken physically or mentally; debilitate
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adjective (ɪˈnɜːvɪt)
  1. deprived of strength or vitality; weakened
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Derived Formsenervation, nounenervative, adjectiveenervator, noun

Word Origin

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 enervation


early 15c., from Middle French énervation, from Late Latin enervationem (nominative enervatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin enervare "weaken," literally "cut the sinews of," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + nervus "sinew" (see nerve). Figurative sense is from 1550s.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

enervation in Medicine


  1. To remove a nerve or nerve part.
  2. To cause weakness or a reduction of strength.
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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.