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[fuh-teeg] /fəˈtig/
weariness from bodily or mental exertion.
a cause of weariness; slow ordeal; exertion:
the fatigue of driving for many hours.
Physiology. temporary diminution of the irritability or functioning of organs, tissues, or cells after excessive exertion or stimulation.
Civil Engineering. the weakening or breakdown of material subjected to stress, especially a repeated series of stresses.
Also called fatigue duty. Military.
  1. labor of a generally nonmilitary kind done by soldiers, such as cleaning up an area, digging drainage ditches, or raking leaves.
  2. the state of being engaged in such labor:
    on fatigue.
fatigues, Military. fatigue clothes.
of or relating to fatigues or any clothing made to resemble them:
The guerrilla band wore fatigue pants and field jackets. She brought fatigue shorts to wear on the hike.
verb (used with object), fatigued, fatiguing.
to weary with bodily or mental exertion; exhaust the strength of:
Endless chatter fatigues me.
Civil Engineering. to subject (a material) to fatigue.
verb (used without object), fatigued, fatiguing.
to become fatigued.
Civil Engineering. (of a material) to undergo fatigue.
Origin of fatigue
1685-95; < French fatigue (noun), fatiguer (v.) < Latin fatīgāre to tire
Related forms
fatigueless, adjective
fatiguingly, adverb
antifatigue, adjective
unfatiguing, adjective
8. tire, debilitate, enervate.

fatigue clothes

plural noun
a soldier's uniform for fatigue duty.
Also called fatigues.
1830-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fatigues
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He did not say so, but he dreaded for her the fatigues of protracted travel.

    The Open Question Elizabeth Robins
  • In my opinion, there are no fatigues in the exercises but what are more easy and more agreeable.

  • While these people were repairing the fatigues of their journey, a door opened very softly at the end of the room.

    The Son of Monte Christo Jules Lermina
  • Arrived at Lambeth, he was left to repose after his fatigues and excitements.

    The Reign of Mary Tudor W. Llewelyn Williams.
  • Although it could not be said that the fatigues of this day had been great, yet all on board retired early to rest.

  • The younger sister had no estimate of her older sister's fatigues.

    The Wedding Ring T. De Witt Talmage
  • Benjamin is perfectly well, does not regard either the fatigues or loss of sleep, but I am worse for the wear and tear.

  • He was now worn with fatigues, and by the protracted anxieties of his situation.

  • On the 27th day of August I arrived safely in this city, but much exhausted by the fatigues of the journey.

    The Black-Sealed Letter Andrew Learmont Spedon
British Dictionary definitions for fatigues


physical or mental exhaustion due to exertion
a tiring activity or effort
(physiol) the temporary inability of an organ or part to respond to a stimulus because of overactivity
the progressive cracking of a material subjected to alternating stresses, esp vibrations
the temporary inability to respond to a situation or perform a function, because of overexposure or overactivity: compassion fatigue
  1. any of the mainly domestic duties performed by military personnel, esp as a punishment
  2. (as modifier): fatigue duties
(pl) special clothing worn by military personnel to carry out such duties
verb -tigues, -tiguing, -tigued
to make or become weary or exhausted
to crack or break (a material or part) by inducing fluctuating stresses in it, or (of a metal or part) to become weakened or fail as a result of fluctuating stresses
Derived Forms
fatigable (ˈfætɪɡəbəl) adjective
fatigueless, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from French, from fatiguer to tire, from Latin fatīgāre
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 fatigues

"extra duties of a soldier," 1776, from fatigue. As a military clothing outfit, from 1836, short for fatigue dress (1833).



1660s, "that which causes weariness," from French fatigue "weariness," from fatiguer "to tire," from Latin fatigare, originally "to cause to break down," later, "to weary, fatigue, tire out," from pre-Latin adj. *fati-agos "driving to the point of breakdown," from Old Latin *fatis (of unknown origin, related to adv. affatim "sufficiently" and to fatisci "crack, split") + root of agere "to drive" (see act (n.)). Meaning "weariness from exertion" is from 1719.


1690s, from French fatiguer (15c.), from fatigue (see fatigue (n.). Earlier in same sense was fatigate (1530s). Related: Fatigued; fatiguing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fatigues in Medicine

fatigue fa·tigue (fə-tēg')

  1. Physical or mental weariness resulting from exertion.

  2. A sensation of boredom and lassitude due to absence of stimulation, to monotony, or to lack of interest in one's surroundings.

  3. The decreased capacity or complete inability of an organism, an organ, or a part to function normally because of excessive stimulation or prolonged exertion.

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