Something that's debilitating seriously affects someone or something's strength or ability to carry on with regular activities, like a debilitating illness.

Debilitating comes from the Latin word debilis, meaning "weak." That's why you'll often see the adjective used to describe illness. After all, serious diseases weaken the body. Other things that can be debilitating are those that can stop you from reaching a goal, like a debilitating snow storm that forces you to stay home, or debilitating shyness that keeps you from reaching out to the people you want to meet.

Definitions of debilitating

adj impairing the strength and vitality

debilitative, enervating, enfeebling, weakening
causing debilitation
draining, exhausting
having a debilitating effect
imparting strength and vitality
animating, enlivening
giving spirit and vivacity
bracing, brisk, fresh, refreshful, refreshing, tonic
imparting vitality and energy
used of a medicine that is strengthening
exhilarating, stimulating
making lively and cheerful
life-giving, vitalizing
giving or having the power to give life and spirit
renewing, restorative, revitalising, revitalizing, reviving
tending to impart new life and vigor to
rousing or quickening activity or the senses
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