Community Comment

A Word A Day -- debilitate

Good morning, Netizens...

December 26, 2012

Word of the Day

  • debilitate
  • audio pronunciation
  • \dih-BIL-uh-tayt\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

verb

: to impair the strength of
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

The flu debilitated him and left him bedridden for several days.

"Hard hits are part of the game. But vicious hits intended to debilitate a player, maybe end his career, are intolerable." — From an article in the Chicago Tribune, March 8, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

"Debilitate," "enfeeble," "undermine," and "sap" all share in common the general sense "to weaken." But while "debilitate" holds the distinction among these words of coming from the Latin word for "weak"—"debilis"—it packs a potent punch. Often used of disease or something that strikes like a disease or illness, "debilitate" might suggest a temporary impairment, but a pervasive one. "Enfeeble," a very close synonym of "debilitate," connotes a pitiable, but often reversible, condition of weakness and helplessness. "Undermine" and "sap" suggest a weakening by something working surreptitiously and insidiously.




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