from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Relating to or exhibiting asthenia; weak.
  • adjective Having a slender, lightly muscled physique.
  • noun A person having such a physique.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of the nature of asthenia; characterized by or suffering from asthenia or debility; weak.
  • noun One who is asthenic or physically undeveloped or run down.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective (Med.) Characterized by, or pertaining to, debility; weak; debilitating.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Characterized by, or pertaining to, debility; weak; debilitating.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective lacking strength or vigor
  • adjective having a slender physique


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • This complaint, which I would call asthenic catarrh, requires directly opposite treatment from the inflammatory or sthenic catarrh.

    Popular Lectures on Zoonomia Or The Laws of Animal Life, in Health and Disease Thomas Garnett 1784

  • Powerfully depressing emotions, which are called by Kant "asthenic," such as great and sudden sorrow, grief, or fright, have a pronounced effect on the vital functions, at times even causing death.

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine 1896

  • I got one wrong too, but in my case it was asthenic which tripped me up. BEAT THE JUDGE. 2004

  • On one occasion, after a spontaneous outburst of appreciation, he said in palliation of his enthusiasm, “Pardon me, but this is an asthenic age — and true-hearted men are rare.”

    The Life of Sir Richard Burton 2003

  • They would have loved Spider, because he was a perfect asthenic: lean with long limbs, long face, narrow trunk.

    1968 Haldeman, Joe & Fields, Trinity 1984

  • By contrast, the Gorgons seemed stately and dour, with sheirl Zuranie a frail asthenic wraith.

    Trullion: Alastor 2262 Vance, Jack 1973

  • Certain individuals pass in a few years from psychasthenic depression with doubts and obsessions to psychasthenic deliriums with stubbornness and negativism, then to asthenic insanity with irremediable and complete want of power.

    A Psychiatric Milestone Bloomingdale Hospital Centenary, 1821-1921 Various

  • Whatever be the disorders you may consider, aboulias, hysterical accidents, psychasthenic obsessions, periodical depressions, melancholics, systematized deliriums, asthenic insanity, you will always find a number of facts resulting from this general perturbation.

    A Psychiatric Milestone Bloomingdale Hospital Centenary, 1821-1921 Various

  • _Chronic cases, and others of an asthenic character_, are often very stubborn under the medicines of pharmacy, and are commonly the dread of physicians; yet, under scientific treatment by electricity, they rarely fail to lose their formidable character and to become obedient to the remedial agent.

    A Newly Discovered System of Electrical Medication Daniel Clark

  • "Tch, tch," DeCastros said, "can anyone really be so asthenic as you seem, Mr. Wordsley?"

    The Marooner Charles A. Stearns


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  • JM avoids asthenic weeks

    July 31, 2010

  • "I limit myself therefore to a refrain of asthenic yeses in response to Jacinthe Rosen's hysterical salves."

    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, translated by Alison Anderson, p 133 of the Europa Editions paperback

    September 28, 2012