To enervate is to weaken, wear down, or even bum out. Although a three-hour lecture on the history of socks might thrill someone, it would enervate most people. So would a too-long soak in a hot tub. With your parents.

Trace enervate back far enough and you'll discover that it comes from the Latin enervare which means basically “to cut the sinew” or “to cause to be cut from the muscle.” That would certainly weaken someone. These days, there’s no need for violence. To enervate someone is to sap their energy, like by reading your ex all the love letters your new sweetheart wrote you. When something enervates you, it does more than get on your nerves; it brings you down.

Definitions of enervate
  1. verb
    weaken physically, mentally, or morally
    see moresee less
    type of:
    lessen the strength of
  2. verb
    disturb the composure of
    synonyms: faze, unnerve, unsettle
    see moresee less
    cause to lose one's nerve
    type of:
    discomfit, discompose, disconcert, rattle, untune, upset
    cause to lose one's composure
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week