July 29, 2012
- debilitate (verb)
- What does it mean?
- : to reduce the strength of : weaken
- How do you use it?
- Polio, a debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, was brought largely under control in the 1960s, when Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin developed vaccines to prevent its infection.
- Are you a word wiz?
We've already given you one synonym of "debilitate," "weaken." Which words below are also synonyms of "debilitate"?You've got a strong vocabulary if you chose D. "Weaken," "debilitate," "enfeeble," and "sap" mean to lose or cause to lose strength or vigor. "Weaken" is the broadest term and usually refers to a general loss of strength, ability, or power. ("He was weakened with fatigue.") "Debilitate" may imply a temporary weakening. ("She was debilitated for three weeks after surgery.") "Enfeeble" suggests bringing a person to a pitiable or pathetic state. ("He was enfeebled with lovesickness.") "Sap" refers to weakening due to something hidden and insidious. ("The budget was sapped by her embezzling.")