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.

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

Synonyms for weaken

Antonyms for weaken

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

Examples from the Web for weakened

Contemporary Examples of weakened

Historical Examples of weakened

  • It was the boy's weakened condition that was turning her revenge into tragedy.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Since my health has been weakened, I believe I have acquired more conscience.

  • Perhaps it was his unquestionable distress that weakened her.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Like a torrent they swept down upon the cowed, weakened Mercutians.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • I have had some practice, but illness has so weakened me that I have given up the forest.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

British Dictionary definitions for weakened



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 weakened



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper