View synonyms for weaken


[ wee-kuhn ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to make weak or weaker.

    Synonyms: invalidate, minimize, impair, reduce, lower, diminish, lessen, deplete, exhaust, sap, undermine, enervate, debilitate, enfeeble

    Antonyms: strengthen

  2. Phonetics. to change (a speech sound) to an articulation requiring less effort, as from geminate to nongeminate or from stop to fricative.

verb (used without object)

  1. to become weak or weaker.

    Synonyms: sap, undermine, enervate, debilitate, enfeeble, invalidate, minimize, impair, reduce, lower, diminish, lessen, deplete, exhaust

    Antonyms: strengthen


/ ˈwiːkən /


  1. to become or cause to become weak or weaker

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Derived Forms

  • ˈweakener, noun

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Other Words From

  • weaken·er noun
  • re·weaken verb
  • un·weakened adjective
  • un·weaken·ing adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of weaken1

First recorded in 1520–30; weak + -en 1

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Example Sentences

It has tightened internet censorship and developed a “social credit” system, which punishes behaviors the authorities say weaken social stability.

Two days after that, they measured whether the drug cleared the weakened viruses that make up the vaccine.

The absence of this immune signaling protein causes a severe susceptibility to all forms of mycobacteria, not only the highly virulent strains that cause tuberculosis but even weakened strains like the one in the BCG vaccine.

That decision itself turned on whether the city measure sufficiently weakened or reversed the old measure.

This situation could weaken recovery efforts over the long term.

From Quartz

Democrats split over moves to weaken Wall Street reforms, and Republicans pouted over lost leverage.

But his voice never seems to crack or weaken, and he's always in motion—jiggling, aerobic walking, jumping, dancing.

But the attacks could also weaken the most potent opponents to the dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Assassinations of community leaders both weaken local coordination against ISIS and deter potential informants.

Assad has been accused of knowingly leaving room for ISIS to grow, the better to weaken the less radical rebels.

Cornstalk was too wise a warrior to weaken his forces for a score of scalps when a general engagement was pending.

Wait,” said the latter one evening, “and let him develop his attack; we should only weaken ourselves by going out to meet him.

As the sun dropped out of the sky, the bull felt his knees begin to weaken.

They "supped full of horrors," and listened greedily to tales of death, which served to weaken and terrify.

The softness of the implication she swept aside, as if she hardly dared regard it lest it weaken her resolve.





weak as a kittenweak ending