weaken


weaken
[[t]wi͟ːkən[/t]]
♦♦♦
weakens, weakening, weakened
1) V-ERG If you weaken something or if it weakens, it becomes less strong or less powerful.

[V n] The recession has weakened so many firms that many can no longer survive...

[V n] The Prime Minister's opponents believe that her authority has been fatally weakened...

Family structures are weakening and breaking up.

Ant:
2) V-ERG If your resolve weakens or if something weakens it, you become less determined or less certain about taking a particular course of action that you had previously decided to take.

I looked at the list and felt my resolve weakening...

Jennie weakened, and finally relented...

[V n] The verdict hasn't weakened his resolve to fight the charges against him.

3) VERB If something weakens you, it causes you to lose some of your physical strength.

[V n] Malnutrition obviously weakens the patient.

Syn:
4) VERB If something weakens an object, it does something to it which causes it to become less firm and more likely to break.

[V n] A bomb blast had weakened an area of brick on the back wall...

[V n] Never dry underwear over direct heat; it will weaken the fabric.


English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • weaken — weak‧en [ˈwiːkən] verb 1. [intransitive, transitive] FINANCE if investments, prices, currencies etc weaken, or something weakens them, they begin to fall in value: • A combination of low US interest rates and a rising Euro will weaken the dollar …   Financial and business terms

  • 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

  • weaken — weaken, enfeeble, debilitate, undermine, sap, cripple, disable can mean to lose or cause to lose, strength, vigor, or energy. Weaken, the most general term of this group, most frequently implies loss of the physical strength or functional… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • weaken — [wē′kən] vt., vi. to make or become weak or weaker weakener n. 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… …   English World dictionary

  • 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

  • weaken — index adulterate, alleviate, attenuate, countervail, damage, debase, debilitate, denature, deplete …   Law dictionary

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

  • weaken — [v] reduce the strength of abate, adulterate, break up, cripple, crumble, cut, debase, debilitate, decline, decrease, depress, devitalize, dilute, diminish, droop, dwindle, ease up, enervate, exhaust, fade, fail, faint, flag, give way, halt,… …   New thesaurus

  • weaken — ► VERB ▪ make or become weak …   English terms dictionary

  • weaken */*/ — UK [ˈwiːkən] / US [ˈwɪkən] verb Word forms weaken : present tense I/you/we/they weaken he/she/it weakens present participle weakening past tense weakened past participle weakened 1) a) [intransitive/transitive] to make someone physically less… …   English dictionary

  • weaken — verb ADVERB ▪ considerably, greatly, seriously, severely, significantly, substantially ▪ badly ▪ The military was badly weakened by the sanctions …   Collocations dictionary