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.


  • 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

  • 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

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

  • 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

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


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

    Trullion: Alastor 2262

  • 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

  • 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

  • _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

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

    The Marooner


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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