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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 debilitation
  • Repeated bouts of illness take their toll in anemia and debilitation.
  • Pain, disfigurement, and debilitation are common in the latter stages of the disease.
  • Generation by generation, volume by volume, his obsession has carried him closer to debilitation and corruption.
  • Abnormal physical examination findings appeared to be related to general debilitation.
  • In chronic giardiasis the symptoms are recurrent and malabsorption and debilitation may occur.
British Dictionary definitions for debilitation


(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 debilitation

early 15c., from French débilitation (13c.), from Latin debilitationem (nominative debilitas) "a laming, crippling, weakening," noun of action from past participle stem of debilitare "to weaken" (see debilitate).



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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