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debilitate

To debilitate something is to make it weaker. A bad flu may debilitate your powers of concentration, like the New Year's resolutions that temporarily debilitate bakeries' business.

The verb debilitate traces back to the Latin word debilis, meaning “lame, disabled, crippled.” It’s often used to describe what disability or illness does to a person's health, but it can describe anything that has been weakened, like the sense of community that is slowly debilitated by people working longer hours and the lack of sidewalks that in many towns make it harder to walk around and meet the neighbors.

Definitions of debilitate
  1. verb
    make weak
    synonyms: drain, enfeeble
    see moresee less
    types:
    emaciate, macerate, waste
    cause to grow thin or weak
    type of:
    weaken
    lessen the strength of
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