1. weariness from bodily or mental exertion.
  2. a cause of weariness; slow ordeal; exertion: the fatigue of driving for many hours.
  3. Physiology. temporary diminution of the irritability or functioning of organs, tissues, or cells after excessive exertion or stimulation.
  4. Civil Engineering. the weakening or breakdown of material subjected to stress, especially a repeated series of stresses.
  5. Also called fatigue duty. Military.
    1. labor of a generally nonmilitary kind done by soldiers, such as cleaning up an area, digging drainage ditches, or raking leaves.
    2. the state of being engaged in such labor: on fatigue.
  6. fatigues, Military. fatigue clothes.


  1. of or relating to fatigues or any clothing made to resemble them: The guerrilla band wore fatigue pants and field jackets. She brought fatigue shorts to wear on the hike.

verb (used with object), fa·tigued, fa·ti·guing.

  1. to weary with bodily or mental exertion; exhaust the strength of: Endless chatter fatigues me.
  2. Civil Engineering. to subject (a material) to fatigue.

verb (used without object), fa·tigued, fa·ti·guing.

  1. to become fatigued.
  2. Civil Engineering. (of a material) to undergo fatigue.

plural noun

  1. a soldier’s uniform for fatigue duty.


  1. physical or mental exhaustion due to exertion
  2. a tiring activity or effort
  3. physiol the temporary inability of an organ or part to respond to a stimulus because of overactivity
  4. the progressive cracking of a material subjected to alternating stresses, esp vibrations
  5. the temporary inability to respond to a situation or perform a function, because of overexposure or overactivitycompassion fatigue
    1. any of the mainly domestic duties performed by military personnel, esp as a punishment
    2. (as modifier)fatigue duties
  6. (plural) special clothing worn by military personnel to carry out such duties

verb -tigues, -tiguing or -tigued

  1. to make or become weary or exhausted
  2. to crack or break (a material or part) by inducing fluctuating stresses in it, or (of a metal or part) to become weakened or fail as a result of fluctuating stresses

“extra duties of a soldier,” 1776, from fatigue. As a military clothing outfit, from 1836, short for fatigue dress (1833).


1660s, “that which causes weariness,” from French fatigue “weariness,” from fatiguer “to tire,” from Latin fatigare, originally “to cause to break down,” later, “to weary, fatigue, tire out,” from pre-Latin adj. *fati-agos “driving to the point of breakdown,” from Old Latin *fatis (of unknown origin, related to adv. affatim “sufficiently” and to fatisci “crack, split”) + root of agere “to drive” (see act (n.)). Meaning “weariness from exertion” is from 1719.


1690s, from French fatiguer (15c.), from fatigue (see fatigue (n.). Earlier in same sense was fatigate (1530s). Related: Fatigued; fatiguing.


  1. Physical or mental weariness resulting from exertion.
  2. A sensation of boredom and lassitude due to absence of stimulation, to monotony, or to lack of interest in one’s surroundings.
  3. The decreased capacity or complete inability of an organism, organ, or part to function normally because of excessive stimulation or prolonged exertion.
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