feckless

play
adjective feck·less \ˈfek-ləs\

Definition of feckless

  1. 1 :  weak, ineffective She can't rely on her feckless son.

  2. 2 :  worthless, irresponsible a feckless maneuver that could only serve to strengthen the enemy — Simon Schama

fecklessly

adverb

fecklessness

noun

feckless was our Word of the Day on 03/14/2009. Hear the podcast!

Examples of feckless in a Sentence

  1. She can't rely on her feckless son.

  2. a well-intentioned but feckless response to the rise in school violence

Recent Examples of feckless from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'feckless.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Someone feckless is lacking in feck. And what, you may ask, is feck? Feck is a Scots term that means "effect" or "majority" and comes from an alteration of the Middle English effect. So something without feck is without effect, or ineffective. In the past, feckful (meaning "efficient," "sturdy," or "powerful") made an occasional appearance. But in this case, the weak has outlived the strong: feckless is a commonly used English word, but feckful has fallen out of use.

Origin and Etymology of feckless

Scots, from feck effect, majority, from Middle English (Scots) fek, alteration of Middle English effect


FECKLESS Defined for English Language Learners

feckless

play
adjective

Definition of feckless for English Language Learners

  • : having or resulting from a weak character or nature



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