English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English debylite, from Old French debilité (French débilité), from Latin dēbilitās (weakness), from dēbilis (weak), from dē- + habilis (able).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

debility (countable and uncountable, plural debilities)

  1. A state of physical or mental weakness.
    • 1818, [Mary Shelley], Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to III), London: [] [Macdonald and Son] for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, →OCLC:
      As I was in a state of extreme debility, I resolved to sail directly towards the town, as a place where I could most easily procure nourishment.
      I was ready to sink from fatigue and hunger, but being surrounded by a crowd, I thought it politic to rouse all my strength, that no physical debility might be construed into apprehension or conscious guilt.
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stephenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde:
      I was struck besides with the shocking expression of his face, with his remarkable combination of great muscular activity and great apparent debility of constitution

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