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[dih-bil-i-teyt] /dɪˈbɪl ɪˌteɪt/
verb (used with object), debilitated, debilitating.
to make weak or feeble; enfeeble:
The siege of pneumonia debilitated her completely.
Origin of debilitate
1525-35; < Latin dēbilitātus (past participle of dēbilitāre), equivalent to dēbilit-, stem of dēbilis weak + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
debilitant, noun
debilitation, noun
debilitative, adjective
nondebilitating, adjective
nondebilitation, noun
nondebilitative, adjective
overdebilitate, verb (used with object), overdebilitated, overdebilitating.
undebilitated, adjective
undebilitating, adjective
undebilitative, adjective
weaken, deplete, enervate, devitalize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for debilitating
  • The book spans Marley's life from puppyhood to debilitating old age.
  • The author argues that even the debilitating processes of aging help us realize our destinies.
  • That's a debilitating problem for a player whose game is based on speed, both as a receiver and a punt returner.
  • Here are a few additional, but relatively lower impact ideas to also help battle this debilitating prognosis.
  • Are they empowering or debilitating, sincere or hollow, real or canned? The film offers some answers.
  • Even a psychological craving can be debilitating.
  • Knee injuries are by far the most common -- and the most debilitating -- injuries in football.
  • This happens to me as well, and they are debilitating - I should go to the doc and see if the migraines are related.
  • Researchers are testing a new procedure that may kill lung cancer tumors without debilitating side effects.
  • Withstanding the opinions of others is at best stressful and at worst debilitating.
British Dictionary definitions for debilitating


tending to weaken or enfeeble


(transitive) to make feeble; weaken
Derived Forms
debilitation, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dēbilitāre, from dēbilis weak
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for debilitating



1530s, from Latin debilitatus, past participle of debilitare "to weaken," from debilis "weak" (see debility). Related: Debilitated; debilitating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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debilitating in Medicine

debilitating de·bil·i·tat·ing (dĭ-bĭl'ĭ-tā'tĭng)
Causing a loss of strength or energy.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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