from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Loss or lack of bodily strength; weakness; debility.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. weakness; loss of strength

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Want or loss of strength; debility; diminution of the vital forces.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In pathology, debility; want of strength. Also astheny.
  • n. [capitalized] In zoology, a genus of insects.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an abnormal loss of strength


New Latin, from Greek astheneia, from asthenēs, weak : a-, without; see a-1 + sthenos, strength.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἀσθένεια (asthénia), from ἀσθενής (asthenḗs, "sick, weak"), from ἀ- (a, "not, un-") + σθένος (thénos, "strength"). (Wiktionary)


  • GUILLAIN-BARRE syndrome, asthenia, headache, sleepiness and pericardial effusion were reported as other important medical event.

    Shelley Ross: What the Tea Party -- and Everyone Else -- Missed on Gardasil®

  • One day post vaccination the patient developed asthenia, headache and sleepiness which improved the following day.

    Shelley Ross: What the Tea Party -- and Everyone Else -- Missed on Gardasil®

  • He died at the age of thirty-two from “asthenia from pneumonia,” probably as a secondary result of sickle cell disease.

    The Edge of Evolution

  • You -- you kind of worry that some measure of diffidence, or lack of interest, sets in, you know, kind of political asthenia.

    CNN Transcript Mar 15, 2007

  • Evaluation of the efficacy of a standardized ginseng extract in patients with psychophysical asthenia and neurological disorders.

    The Best Alternative Medicine

  • The patient died four years after manifesting symptoms of a general asthenia.

    The Mad Among Us

  • He assumed that the interaction between the excitability with which the body was endowed and the stimuli, external and internal, which it encountered during life determined health and the contrasting conditions of asthenia and sthenia.


  • Where we meet with atonic conditions however, with debility, malnutrition, want of energy or general asthenia of an obscure nature, and amenable to electric influence, the tonic effects of the baths become striking and brilliant.

    The Electric Bath

  • In others there was no change whatever, and in a few there was an absolute diminution in frequency; this last I believe however to be a therapeutic rather than physiological effect, manifesting itself only where there is pneumogastric asthenia, and attributable directly to electric stimulation of this nerve.

    The Electric Bath

  • Lieut. Greely's disease is called by the surgeon asthenia, a diminution of the vital forces.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 458, October 11, 1884


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  • "'Strychnin sic in large doses hypodermically had a distinct value in the existing asthenia....'"
    —John M. Barry, The Great Influenza (NY: Penguin Books, 2004), 358

    February 17, 2009