weaken

[ wee-kuhn ]
/ ˈwi kən /

verb (used with object)

to make weak or weaker.
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)

to become weak or weaker.

Nearby words

  1. weak sister,
  2. weak-headed,
  3. weak-kneed,
  4. weak-minded,
  5. weak-willed,
  6. weaker sex,
  7. weakest link,
  8. weakfish,
  9. weakhanded,
  10. weakhearted

Origin of weaken

First recorded in 1520–30; weak + -en1

Related formsweak·en·er, nounre·weak·en, verbun·weak·ened, adjectiveun·weak·en·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for weaken


British Dictionary definitions for weaken

weaken

/ (ˈwiːkən) /

verb

to become or cause to become weak or weaker
Derived Formsweakener, 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 weaken

weaken

v.

1520s, from weak + -en (1). The earlier verb was simply weak (late 14c.). Related: Weakened; weakening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper