Definition of exhaustion in English:



  • 1A state of extreme physical or mental tiredness:

    ‘he was pale with exhaustion’
    • ‘The peak summer heat results in extraordinary mental and physical exhaustion, sleeplessness and occasionally depression.’
    • ‘The combat life of this famous pilot was not the fanciful image of an undaunted superhero but one of considerable physical and mental exhaustion as well as trauma.’
    • ‘They've played before and are a perfect match when it comes to energy levels and desire to terrorize the other until both have passed out from mental exhaustion.’
    • ‘Mental and physical exhaustion retards the growth of body and mind, and it often causes a psychosomatic illness.’
    • ‘But when things are liberated, they pass into extreme forms and exhaustion, culminating in a new kind of imprisonment.’
    • ‘The American star admitted herself to hospital late on Wednesday, suffering from extreme exhaustion.’
    • ‘In the light of an electric bulb dazzling at a distance, you try to study his face for signs of exhaustion - physical as well as emotional.’
    • ‘She will demonstrate how to resolve problems such as anxiety, mental exhaustion, digestive and skin problems using herbs.’
    • ‘He was unable to speak from exhaustion, physical pain and mental anguish.’
    • ‘The medical costs of caring for him and the mental anxiety and exhaustion of living with him finally overwhelmed her.’
    • ‘Jengo was finding it hard to catch up with Shi, due to extreme exhaustion.’
    • ‘Steve was napping frequently, though I think it may have been photo trip fatigue rather than physical exhaustion.’
    • ‘Nothing is worse than chronic irritability, a feeling of exhaustion and mental fatigue.’
    • ‘Supreme confusion warred with mental exhaustion for dominance over her visage.’
    • ‘With burnout, the professional loses the ability to cope with daily life as a function of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.’
    • ‘It was as though her mental exhaustion had infiltrated her physical being.’
    • ‘Naturally, such acute physical exhaustion has a direct mental parallel.’
    • ‘What was most striking about the run-up to the peace deal was the morbid fixation on the physical and mental exhaustion of the parties.’
    • ‘After five weeks in combat these soldiers sunk into a state of extreme exhaustion and lassitude.’
    • ‘Physical exhaustion contributes to errors of judgement, just as machine fatigue contributes to breakdowns and malfunctions.’
    extreme tiredness, overtiredness, fatigue, weariness, lack of energy, enervation, debilitation, debility, faintness, prostration, enfeeblement, lassitude
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  • 2The action of using something up or the state of being used up:

    ‘the rapid exhaustion of fossil fuel reserves’
    • ‘In every case, it said finite reserves of these minerals were approaching exhaustion and prices would rise steeply.’
    • ‘The practice of burning stubble in the cereal region also increased soil exhaustion.’
    • ‘Government policy of granting very small claims gave everyone a chance, but also led to rapid exhaustion of claims and large rushes to new fields.’
    • ‘It is the world's largest violin playing just for the exhaustion of our natural resources.’
    • ‘Any treatment that can improve the healing of pressure ulcers will be beneficial in preventing the exhaustion of medical resources.’
    • ‘The collapse of complex societies follows exhaustion of resources, climatological change and/or increasing levels of entropy.’
    • ‘MacLean briefly discusses the exhaustion of southern soils.’
    • ‘Each day, populations alternated between active growth and nutrient exhaustion.’
    • ‘Bahrain was the first Gulf Arab state to produce oil, in 1932, but its reserves are now near exhaustion.’
    • ‘This egg quality decline was attributed to the exhaustion of lipid and protein reserves required to produce viable eggs.’
    • ‘Of course, at high levels, geographic concentration of organizations may signal intense localized competition and exhaustion of resources.’
    • ‘As the stock of the DAT nears exhaustion, perhaps we should be considering a CD version.’
    • ‘In essence, imperial overstretch demonstrates how America's ongoing exhaustion of its economic resources undermines important national security objectives.’
    • ‘At last, farmers escaped from the vicious trade-off between soil exhaustion and leaving land idle.’
    • ‘He decided to make a precautionary landing on an interstate highway as his fuel supply neared exhaustion.’
    • ‘The exhaustion of a deposit, the discovery of new reserves, civil war, a change in government, or a new trade agreement can affect supplies.’
    consumption, depletion, using up, expenditure
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  • 3Logic
    The process of establishing a conclusion by eliminating all the alternatives.

    • ‘Euclid and Archimedes utilized two important techniques to prove theorems from their axioms: reductio ad absurdum arguments, and a method of exhaustion.’
    • ‘This argument from exhaustion is not conclusive.’
    • ‘Maclaurin appealed to the geometrical methods of the ancient Greeks and to Archimedes' method of exhaustion in attempting to put Newton's calculus on a rigorous footing.’
    • ‘This result, discovered by a heuristic argument, can be converted into a rigorous proof by using the method of exhaustion or integration.’
    • ‘This would be an improvement on Antiphon's argument and Bryson is getting close to the method of exhaustion as rigorously applied by Archimedes.’


Early 17th century: from late Latin exhaustio(n-), from Latin exhaurire drain out (see exhaust).