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
  1. adjective
    impairing the strength and vitality
    debilitative, enervating, enfeebling, weakening
    causing debilitation
    draining, exhausting
    having a debilitating effect
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    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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