Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical.
tr.v. en·er·vat·ed, en·er·vat·ing, en·er·vates
1. To weaken or destroy the strength or vitality of: "the luxury which enervates and destroys nations" (Henry David Thoreau).
2. Medicine To remove a nerve or part of a nerve.
Deprived of strength; debilitated.
Usage Note: Sometimes people mistakenly use enervate to mean "to invigorate" or "to excite" by assuming that this word is a close cousin of the verb energize. In fact enervate does not come from the same source as energize (Greek energos, "active"). It comes from Latin nervus, "sinew." Thus enervate means "to cause to become 'out of muscle' ," that is, "to weaken or deplete of strength."
tending to deprive of strength or vitality; physically or mentally weakening; debilitating