Healing Spells


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The Harry Potter Canon

Reverse of the STUNNING SPELL (see).

Spell used to revive a person who has been hit by a Stunner.

See Edits and Changes to the Text – GF; this spell has been officially renamed by JKR from its original name. Some versions list this spell as “Enervate,” which changes the etymology quite a bit. In fact, if the word was really Enervate, the Latin origins would have exactly the opposite meaning from what it meant as Ennervate.

References from the canon

  • Amos Diggory woke up Winky with this (GF9)
  • Dumbledore used it to revive Barty Crouch junior (GF35)
  • Dumbledore also used it to revive Viktor Krum after he was stunned while watching over Barty Crouch senior (GF28).



"en-" Old French from "in-" L. cause to be + "nerves" Eng. c.1603 strength, from "nervus" L. nerve

Pensieve (Comments)

  • Arluen14

    This is something that always bugged me reading both the books and related transformative works. I’ve reached the point of just accepting it as literary license to mold the world within the story to her whim; however, I would like to still point out a few things.

    ‘Rennervate’ is still not going to get you to the desired result of waking up a subject. That would really just be restoring someone to a state of weakness or infirmity, were it actually a word (which I can find no evidence for it being in any dictionary outside of Harry Potter).

    I understand where you’re going with the above etymology, and it is very true that the Old French “en-” was a derivative of the Latin “in-“; however, the meanings of the two could be very different. Also, many words, when translated into English, either came from the Latin itself or were switched back to the “in-” used in the Latin or to the Old English “un-“. This makes for confusing situations like enquire/inquire which actually mean the same thing, but are spelled differently depending upon where you’re from. All of that said, according to just about every online dictionary I’ve referenced (see the end of the post for a list), enervate comes from the Latin ‘enervatus’– a form of ‘enervare-‘- meaning “e-” (out of) and “-nervus” (nerves or sinew). Literally, “out of nerves”.

    The correct spelling for the spell should either be ‘innervate’ or, more desirable to the purpose of the spell, ‘reinnervate’. They’re physiological terms that have only been around since the late 19th century (around 1870), so an argument could be made for variation based on location, as above with ‘enervate’, but the only listed origin I can find is the Latin, which uses the “in-” with the meaning of “into” and “-nervus” as “nerves” or “sinew”. The meaning is a touch trickier, but we can reliably conclude it (very simplistically) means “to make into nerves”. A better definition for ‘reinnervate’ is “to restore a lost nerve supply to” or “to stimulate through nerves”.

    As a side note, searching for ‘ennervate’ in google will either suggest Harry Potter sites to you, or will suggest you’ve misspelled innervate. Within a dictionary, you’ll generally get suggestions for other words, of which ‘innervate’ and ‘enervate’ are usually options.

    Pronunciation is also a bit of a problem here as, again depending upon where a person is from, both innervate and enervate can sound extraordinarily similar and are frequently mistaken for each other. I like to think this is what happened when it came to the use of ‘enervate’ in Harry Potter in the first place.

    I hope this is helpful.

    I used 5 separate online dictionaries to compile this information.,, and all had information as to the origin of the words. and only had information on definitions and related words (synonyms/antonyms).
    All but had the option to hear the word pronounced, and only had the option of hearing it in both UK English and US English.

Tags: recover