Definition of enervate in US English:



[with object]
Pronunciation /ˈenərˌvāt//ˈɛnərˌveɪt/
  • Cause (someone) to feel drained of energy or vitality; weaken.

    • ‘It enervated Sven, draining his energy and willpower, then paralyzing him.’
    • ‘You leave the theatre drained and enervated, wishing you could get that time back, 15 minutes of awesome explosions notwithstanding.’
    • ‘The day's ride had exhausted her already dwindled energy, and the night had truly enervated her.’
    • ‘Businessmen, enervated by the pressures of city life, sought spiritual as well as physical refreshment in the new pastime of bushwalking.’
    • ‘Ionizing radiation enervates the human gene pool and it weakens our immune systems.’
    • ‘Without this, poetry is enervated and becomes merely the record of consciousness no more compelling than yesterday's sports statistics.’
    • ‘The lack of food enervated him and he couldn't produce the goods when they were required.’
    • ‘The preoccupation with the problem of evil, asserts Nietzsche, enervates the human spirit.’
    • ‘When I conjure in my mind the objections that people I know make to Christianity, I am reminded of my friend on the couch, enervated by life's manifold demands.’
    • ‘Thanks so much and hope you regain your energy soon… don't let school or whatever it is enervate you too much.’
    • ‘The knowledge of a shared destiny energizes and sustains many of us, enervates and defeats others.’
    • ‘Shall we say this war consumes the heart and enervates the soul?’
    • ‘His enemies were enervated and lacked a strong voice.’
    • ‘But whether depressed by the small audience or enervated by the heat, the choir made little impact before the interval.’
    • ‘The tension has enervated whole generations of players.’
    • ‘Hemingway's genius would be squandered, enervated by celebrity, and he would die an alcoholic and a suicide.’
    exhaust, tire, fatigue, weary, wear out, devitalize, drain, sap, weaken, make weak, make feeble, enfeeble, debilitate, incapacitate, indispose, prostrate, immobilize, lay low, put out of action
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Pronunciation /ˈɛnərvət//ˈenərvət/
  • Lacking in energy or vitality.

    ‘the enervate slightness of his frail form’
    • ‘A few weeks of the Blair, Bush, and Campbell vision of an enervate media might change their minds.’
    • ‘After charging his age with being an enervate breed which is "ever on his knees before the footstool of Authority," he goes on to observe that the process of statute-making ought to make one pause before according so much unquestioned deference to statutes.’


Early 17th century: from Latin enervat- ‘weakened (by extraction of the sinews)’, from the verb enervare, from e- (variant of ex- ‘out of’ + nervus ‘sinew’.