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debilitate Syllabification: de·bil·i·tate
Pronunciation: /dəˈbiləˌtāt/

Definition of debilitate in English:


[with object]
1Make (someone) weak and infirm: a weakness that debilitates him despite his overwhelming physical might (as adjective debilitated) a debilitated patient
More example sentences
  • His ability to handle such a big movie became less and less likely as he became increasingly debilitated by Parkinson's disease.
  • As the disease progresses, it can debilitate a person by slowly eating away the joint's cartilage and bone.
  • They know a request to kitchen staff will not be met with disdain; our domestics regularly help with feeding debilitated patients in the absence of nursing staff.
1.1Hinder, delay, or weaken: hard drugs destroy families and debilitate communities
More example sentences
  • There were many and the special effects were debilitating on such a large, clear display.
  • If this protein is so dangerous, why doesn't the body's immune system counteract the effects, or at least debilitate the protein?
  • It is debilitating and draining, and diverts the energy that should be going into reforming Scotland.
undermine, impair, indispose, incapacitate, cripple, disable, paralyze, immobilize
informal knock out, do in


Mid 16th century: from Latin debilitat- 'weakened', from the verb debilitare, from debilitas (see debility).



Pronunciation: /dəˌbiləˈtāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • For bedridden patients unable to perform personal hygiene measures because of acute illness or chronic debilitation, the bed bath has long been a measure for improving hygiene and comfort.
  • A hilarious script to begin with, moving towards severity in the end, as grave issues of child marriage, unwanted pregnancies and the consequent debilitation of the girls involved, unfolded.
  • At the conclusion of the inspection, members of the fire authority were appraised of the main issues contained within the report and urged to take early action to prevent further debilitation of the service.


Pronunciation: /diˈbiliˌtātiv/
Example sentences
  • ‘These are very good for people who need to detox, for people who have had debilitative problems over a number of years such as MS or arthritis,’ explains Magdalene Sacranie, chartered physiotherapist at Roundelwoods.
  • I can account this socially debilitative disease to my early days in primary school where I was ridiculed for assuming that L, M, N, O, P was a word and ostracized for recounting stories told to me by my less PC relatives.
  • Diagnosed with debilitative scoliosis, he was once completely paralysed.

Words that rhyme with debilitate

imitate • decapitate

Definition of debilitate in:

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