(Roget's IV) v.
1. [To become weaker]
Syn. lessen, lose, decrease, relapse, soften, relax, droop, fail, wane, crumble, halt, limp, languish, fade, decline, abate, totter, tremble, flag, faint, wilt, lose spirit, become disheartened, fail in courage, slow down, break up, crack up*, wash out*.
Ant. revive*, strengthen*, straighten.
2. [To make weaker]
Syn. reduce, minimize, enervate, debilitate, exhaust, cripple, unman, emasculate, castrate, devitalize, undermine, impair, sap, enfeeble, unnerve, incapacitate, impoverish, thin, dilute, take the wind out of*, wash up*; see also decrease 2 .
Ant. revive*, quicken, animate.
Syn.- weaken , the most general of these words, implies a lessening of strength, power, soundness, etc. [weakened by disease, to weaken an argument ] ; debilitate suggests a partial or temporary gradual weakening, as by disease or dissipation [debilitated by alcoholic excesses ] ; enervate implies a lessening of force, vigor, energy, etc., as through indulgence in luxury [enervated by idleness ] ; undermine and sap both suggest a weakening or impairing by subtle or stealthy means [ authority undermined by rumors, strength sapped by disease ]
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus) v.
drain, sap, debilitate, cripple, exhaust, flag, impair, tire, enervate, enfeeble, droop, slow, run down, deplete, handicap, diminish, reduce, wane, ebb, fade, *lose one's charge, *run one's battery down, *run out of juice, dilute, water down.
ANT.: strengthen, fortify, invigorate, energize
(Roget's Thesaurus II) verb 1. To lose strength or power: decline, degenerate, deteriorate, fade, fail, flag2, languish, sink, wane, waste (away). Informal: fizzle (out). Idioms: go downhill, hit the skids. See INCREASE, STRONG. 2. To lessen or deplete the nerve, energy, or strength of: attenuate, debilitate, devitalize, enervate, enfeeble, sap2, undermine, undo, unnerve. See STRONG. 3. To lessen the strength of by or as if by admixture: attenuate, cut, dilute, thin, water (down). See STRONG. 4. To moderate or change a position or course of action as a result of pressure: ease off, relent, slacken, soften, yield. Idiom: give way (or ground). See STRONG.

English dictionary for students. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Weaken — Weak en, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Weakened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Weakening}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To make weak; to lessen the strength of; to deprive of strength; to debilitate; to enfeeble; to enervate; as, to weaken the body or the mind; to weaken the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Weaken — Weak en, v. i. To become weak or weaker; to lose strength, spirit, or determination; to become less positive or resolute; as, the patient weakened; the witness weakened on cross examination. His notion weakens, his discernings are lethargied.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • weaken — 1520s, from WEAK (Cf. weak) + EN (Cf. en) (1). The earlier verb was simply weak (late 14c.). Related: Weakened; weakening …   Etymology dictionary

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