unnerve

unnerve, enervate, unman, emasculate can all mean to deprive of strength or vigor and of the capacity for endurance, overcoming difficulties, or making progress.
Unnerve implies marked loss of courage, steadiness, and self-control or of power to act or fight usually as a result of some calamity or sudden shock
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government was unnerved, confounded, and in a manner suspended— Burke

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that beloved name unnerved my arm— Arnold

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entered . . . hesitantly, unnerved and bewildered— Styron

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the narcotic and unnerving property of these stimulants has been thoroughly established— Day Lewis

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Enervate implies a more gradual physical or moral weakening or dissipation of one's strength until one is too feeble to make effort; usually the term implies a weakening of moral fiber under the influence of such debilitating factors as luxury, indolence, or effeminacy
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those unhappy, people whose tender minds a long course of felicity has enervatedBolingbroke

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Plato asserts that a life of drudgery disfigures the body and . . . enervates the soul— Dickinson

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Unman implies loss of manly fortitude or spirit; it often suggests a shameful reduction to tears, tremors, extreme timidity, or other state regarded as womanish
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what, quite unmanned in folly? .... Fie, for shame!— Shak.

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the strangeness of the night... the dead man they had left in the field had unsettled them all and had unmanned at least one of them— Cheever

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Emasculate (see also STERILIZE 1) implies a loss of essential or effective power especially by the removal of something (as a factor or a condition) which has made for strength (as of a person, a group, or a law)
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Hellenism . . . was not destroyed, though it was emasculated, by the loss of politi-cal freedom— Inge

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many states emasculate such civil rights statutes as exist— Swindler

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Analogous words: upset, agitate, perturb (see DISCOMPOSE): bewilder, distract, confound (see PUZZLE vb): *weaken, enfeeble, sap, undermine

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Unnerve — Un*nerve , v. t. [1st pref. un + nerve.] To deprive of nerve, force, or strength; to weaken; to enfeeble; as, to unnerve the arm. [1913 Webster] Unequal match d, . . . The unnerved father falls. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • unnerve — UK US /ʌnˈnɜːv/ verb [T] ► to make someone feel nervous or less confident: »Talk of an economic slowdown has so far failed to unnerve American markets. be unnerved by sth »Investors were unnerved by recent profit warnings …   Financial and business terms

  • unnerve — [unnʉrv′] vt. unnerved, unnerving 1. to cause to lose one s courage, self confidence, etc. 2. to make feel weak, nervous, etc. SYN. UNNERVE implies a causing to lose courage or self control as by shocking, dismaying, etc. [the screams unnerved… …   English World dictionary

  • unnerve — index disable, discommode, discourage, disturb, frighten, intimidate, menace, perturb, upset …   Law dictionary

  • unnerve — 1620s, to destroy the strength of, from UN (Cf. un ) (2) + NERVE (Cf. nerve). Meaning to deprive of courage is recorded from 1704. Related: Unnerved; unnerving …   Etymology dictionary

  • unnerve — [v] upset, intimidate agitate, bewilder, bowl over*, buffalo*, chill*, confound, daunt, demoralize, disarm, discombobulate, disconcert, discourage, dishearten, dismay, dispirit, distract, enervate, enfeeble, floor*, fluster, frighten, get to*,… …   New thesaurus

  • unnerve — ► VERB ▪ deprive of courage or confidence. DERIVATIVES unnerving adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • unnerve — transitive verb Date: 1601 1. to deprive of courage, strength, or steadiness 2. to cause to become nervous ; upset • unnervingly adverb Synonyms: unnerve, enervate, unman, emasculate mean to deprive of strength or vigor and the capacity for… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • unnerve — UK [ʌnˈnɜː(r)v] / US [ʌnˈnɜrv] verb [transitive] Word forms unnerve : present tense I/you/we/they unnerve he/she/it unnerves present participle unnerving past tense unnerved past participle unnerved to make someone nervous or frightened Derived… …   English dictionary

  • unnerve — verb a) To deprive of nerve, force, or strength; to weaken; to enfeeble. to unnerve the arm b) To upset. I was greatly unnerved by this …   Wiktionary

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