de·​crep·​it di-ˈkre-pət How to pronounce decrepit (audio)
: wasted and weakened by or as if by the infirmities of old age
a decrepit old man
: impaired by use or wear : worn-out
a decrepit school bus
: fallen into ruin or disrepair
a decrepit industry
: dilapidated, run-down
an old, decrepit hotel
decrepitly adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for decrepit

weak, feeble, frail, fragile, infirm, decrepit mean not strong enough to endure strain, pressure, or strenuous effort.

weak applies to deficiency or inferiority in strength or power of any sort.

felt weak after the surgery

feeble suggests extreme weakness inviting pity or contempt.

a feeble attempt to walk

frail implies delicacy and slightness of constitution or structure.

a frail teenager unable to enjoy sports

fragile suggests frailty and brittleness unable to resist rough usage.

a reclusive poet too fragile for the rigors of this world

infirm suggests instability, unsoundness, and insecurity due to old age or disabling illness.

infirm residents requiring constant care

decrepit implies being worn-out or broken-down from long use or old age.

the dowager's decrepit retainers

Examples of decrepit in a Sentence

My decrepit car barely starts.
Recent Examples on the Web Eventually, the object of his attention is a tower, somewhat decrepit and apparently deserted. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 8 Sep. 2023 And so Larraín’s decision to finally place the man himself front and center, albeit in the form of a decrepit 250-year-old bloodsucker, feels like a return and a departure, a culmination and a bit of a compromise. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2023 For the past 30 years her home had stood on a decrepit pavement, next to an open sewage drain, opposite the sprawling Pragati Maidan complex, a prominent convention center in the Indian capital that will this week host leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) nations. Rhea Mogul, CNN, 5 Sep. 2023 Since taking power in 2011, the North Korean leader has sought parallel goals: building a nuclear arsenal and reviving his country’s decrepit economy. Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2023 Posts featured charming historic homes from across the country, some decrepit and in need of desperate amounts of TLC and others that were surprisingly turnkey for the price. Chris Moody, Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2023 Even in the wild and free Great Plains, litigation is propping up a decrepit bridge that a railroad is paying millions to replace. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 27 Aug. 2023 Particularly fun is a scene in which the decrepit family car breaks down right after Rickey’s father has lost his job, with the clan managing to find the comedy in their predicament thanks to their faith and love of each other. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Aug. 2023 There’s a huge decrepit mansion in a field in Illinois. Chris Moody, Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'decrepit.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Latin decrepitus

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of decrepit was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near decrepit

Cite this Entry

“Decrepit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​crep·​it di-ˈkrep-ət How to pronounce decrepit (audio)
: broken down with age : worn-out

More from Merriam-Webster on decrepit

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