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verb (used with object), en·fee·bled, en·fee·bling.
  1. to make feeble; weaken: That bout of pneumonia enfeebled him.
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Origin of enfeeble

1300–50; Middle English enfeblen < Old French enfeblir. See en-1, feeble
Related formsen·fee·ble·ment, nounen·fee·bler, nounun·en·fee·bled, adjective


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

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Examples from the Web for enfeeble

Historical Examples

  • Nothing could enfeeble that, it seemed heroic, and covered all other laches.

    Pickwickian Studies

    Percy Fitzgerald

  • Usually they enfeeble the sympathies, and often overlie and smother them.

  • There is no money in the treasury, and so they enfeeble her instead of strengthening.

    The Innocents Abroad

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • There, no petty circle of society can fetter the energies or enfeeble the endeavors.


    W. Gilmore Simms

  • But in poverty there is also a tendency to intimidate, to enfeeble, to benumb.

British Dictionary definitions for enfeeble


  1. (tr) to make weak; deprive of strength
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Derived Formsenfeeblement, nounenfeebler, 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

Word Origin and History for enfeeble


mid-14c., from Old French enfeblir "become weak," from en- (see en- (1)) + feble (see feeble). Related: Enfeebled; enfeebling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper