Definition of weaken in US English:



  • Make or become weaker in power, resolve, or physical strength.

    with object ‘fault lines had weakened and shattered the rocks’
    no object ‘his resistance had weakened’
    • ‘Inequality undermines social cohesion and weakens the bonds of co-operation.’
    • ‘That would surely weaken resolve and put fear into even the stoutest hearts.’
    • ‘It also weakens the market power of firms whose dominance comes from legal protection rather than commercial success.’
    • ‘The two major options for states to close their budget gaps — raising taxes and cutting spending — put further stress on a weakening economy,’
    • ‘Forecasters say the storm has weakened but could strengthen again before it hits Florida.’
    • ‘If the economy weakens further, says Wittman, the President could be in trouble.’
    • ‘Because inactivity weakens the back muscles, pain sufferers should stay active, but it is sometimes easier said than done.’
    • ‘She hates this kind of thing normally, but all the hype and good reviews weakened her resolve.’
    • ‘It did not weaken his resolve, although there are times when bitterness wells to the surface.’
    • ‘There are no indications that the resolve of members is weakening.’
    • ‘If people are not fed properly, resistance weakens and wounds do not heal.’
    • ‘While the position of the crown had weakened, the power of the state had grown.’
    • ‘Their powers had been weakened and there was not a great deal they could have done about it.’
    • ‘Too big a cut, they warn, could panic the markets and weaken confidence, not strengthen it.’
    • ‘The social hierarchies to which it was attached were as likely to be weakened as strengthened by such a model.’
    • ‘The government announced it would go ahead anyway, but its authority had been weakened.’
    • ‘Reduced diet meant starvation and weakened resistance to illness and disease.’
    • ‘But if he weakens and gives them a role, most Afghan people who voted for a strong central government will feel cheated.’
    • ‘Marriage has also been weakened by the ease with which you can now obtain a divorce.’
    • ‘His squad may be physically weakened, but he believes their resolve remains strong.’
    • ‘When de Gaulle returned to power in 1958, the western alliance was weakening.’
    • ‘Weakened by illness and extreme age, he died on 21 November 1781.’
    enfeeble, debilitate, incapacitate, sap one's strength, enervate, tire, exhaust, wear out
    reduce, decrease, diminish, lessen, moderate, temper, sap, dilute, water down, thin, blunt, mitigate, deplete, soften, soften up
    abate, lessen, decrease, dwindle, diminish, ease up, let up, trail off, wane, ebb, subside, peter out, melt away, fizzle out, taper off, tail off, grow dim, grow faint
    impair, undermine, compromise
    relent, give in, acquiesce, yield, give way, accede, succumb, come round
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