Emasculate vs. Demasculate - What's the difference?


Emasculation of a human male is the removal of the penis and the testicles, the external male sex organs. Removal of the testicles alone is termed castration. Emasculation was a form of punishment in medieval Europe and sometimes formed part of the process of being hanged, drawn, and quartered. By extension, the word has also come to mean to render a male less masculine, including by humiliation, or to deprive anything of vigour or effectiveness. Such metaphorical usage has become much more usual than the literal meaning, e.g., the reduction or removal of legislative enforceability, as in "[William Lewis Hughes] voted for Folkestone’s amendment to Curwen’s emasculated reform bill, 12 June 1809..." In horticulture, the removal of male (pollen) parts of a plant, largely for controlled pollination and breeding purposes, is also called emasculation.

Emasculate vs. Demasculate


Table of contents

1. Verb


1. Etymology

From Latin emasculare or emasculō (to emasculate), from ē- (a variant of ex- (suffix denoting privation), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁eǵʰs (out)) + masculus (male, masculine; a man) + (suffix forming verbs). Masculus is derived from mās (a man, a male) +‎ -culus (suffix forming a diminutive of a noun).

2. Pronunciation

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪˈmæskjʊleɪt/
  • (General American) enPR: ĭ.măsʹkyə.lāt', IPA(key): /iˈmæskjəˌleɪt/
  • Hyphenation: emas‧cu‧late

3. Adjective

emasculate (comparative more emasculate, superlative most emasculate)

  1. Deprived of virility or vigor; unmanned, weak.

4. Verb

emasculate (third-person singular simple present emasculates, present participle emasculating, simple past and past participle emasculated)

  1. (transitive) To deprive of virile or procreative power; to castrate, to geld. [from early 17th c.]
  2. (transitive) To deprive of masculine vigor or spirit; to weaken; to render effeminate; to vitiate by unmanly softness. [from early 17th c.]
  3. (transitive, botany) Of a flower: to deprive of the anthers.

4.1. Synonyms

  • unman
  • (to weaken): debilitate, demasculate, enervate, enfeeble

4.2. Antonyms

  • (to weaken): empower, invigorate, masculate (obsolete), strengthen
  • emasculated (adjective)
  • emasculation
  • emasculative
  • emasculator
  • emasculatory
  • emasculatrix

6. Further reading

  • emasculation on Wikipedia.Wikipedia

7. Anagrams

  • emaculates


1. Verb

demasculate (third-person singular simple present demasculates, present participle demasculating, simple past and past participle demasculated)

  1. (transitive) To subtract the masculinity from (somebody).

2. Anagrams

  • emasculated
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