American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To weaken or destroy the strength or vitality of: "the luxury which enervates and destroys nations” ( Henry David Thoreau). See Synonyms at deplete.
- v. Medicine To remove a nerve or part of a nerve.
- adj. Deprived of strength; debilitated.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To deprive of nerve, force, or strength; weaken; render feeble: as, idleness and voluptuous indulgences enervate the body.
- Figuratively, to deprive of force or applicability; render ineffective; refute.
- To cut the nerves of: as, to enervate a horse.
- Synonyms To enfeeble, unnerve, debilitate, paralyze, unstring, relax.
- Weakened; weak; enervated.
- v. transitive To reduce strength or energy; debilitate.
- v. transitive To weaken morally or mentally.
- v. transitive To unnerve or faze.
- v. medicine To partially or completely remove a nerve.
- adj. Made feeble; weakened.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To deprive of nerve, force, strength, or courage; to render feeble or impotent; to make effeminate; to impair the moral powers of.
- adj. Weakened; weak; without strength of force.
- v. weaken mentally or morally
- v. disturb the composure of
- Latin ēnervāre, ēnervāt- : ē-, ex-, ex- + nervus, sinew; see (s)neəu- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Ward, so weakened a body already 'enervate' and emaciated, that at first the patient "was thought to be falling into the agonies of death.”
“ But within a few days, apparently, of this date treatment employed on the advice of Dr Joshua Ward, so weakened a body already 'enervate' and emaciated, that at first the patient “was thought to be falling into the agonies of death.””
Henry Fielding A Memoir
“OT will someone tell Fiona Miller (on Daily Politics now) to look up the word "enervate" and use it correctly in future.”
“For such entertainments altogether enervate the minds of people, insensibly leading them into effeminacy, and unfitting them to endure those hardships, and fatigues, which must necessarily be undergone, to bring any province to perfection.”
“It was not that the founders wanted to write religion out of the new nation; Kidd insists that they tended to view robust religion as indispensable to a good society, but that there was a widespread current of thought -- among both the preachers and the Patriots -- that involvement with worldly power tended to enervate and corrupt true religion, so they were careful to reserve ministry for the ministers.”
“Presumably, if nothing else, our fear of hell purports to enervate good behavior.”
“The Kerry-Lieberman energy bill would enervate America.”
“I am not a fan of the time-wastin 'speechifyin', masturbatory roundtablin ', and high-fallutin' blue-ribbon panels that enervate our government.”
“When Randolph expressed a concern that amendments might “enervate” the Constitution, he mentioned in particular that federal “direct taxation may be too much weakened.””
“Katie said, “I thought ‘enervate’ meant to weaken.””
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