As you may or may not know, enervate
means to deprive of strength, not to energise.
For example, arguing that the display of a creche in a public space lacks any substantial religious content and expresses a legitimate secular purpose (surrounded as it was by a Christmas tree and depiction of a Santa Claus house) enervates
religion of its true meaning (Lynch v.
Bell argues convincingly that novelists such as Toni Morrison, Charles Johnson, Alice Walker, and Ishmael Reed are able to transcend the despair that enervates
the work of writers such as Alain Robbe-Grillet, John Barth, and Ronald Sukenick because they can still tap into a vital tradition supplying potent spiritual and moral values as well as political energy.
The phrenic nerve enervates
the diaphragm and is therefore required for independent breathing.
The fear is that America will decline not because it overstretches," writes Brooks, "but because it enervates
as its leading citizens decide that the pleasures of an oversized kitchen are more satisfying than the conflicts and challenges of patriotic service.
Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates
, extinguishes, and stupefies the people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
But because Southern black experience is rooted in both "struggle" and "some kind of larger freedom" resulting from such struggle, the black writer is able to overcome the despair which enervates
so much modern literature (In Search 5).