fee·​ble | \ ˈfē-bəl How to pronounce feeble (audio) \
feebler\ ˈfē-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce feebler (audio) \; feeblest\ ˈfē-​b(ə-​)ləst How to pronounce feeblest (audio) \

Definition of feeble

1a : markedly lacking in strength a feeble old man
b : indicating weakness taking only feeble steps
2a : deficient in qualities or resources that indicate vigor, authority, force, or efficiency a feeble argument cities are growing uncreative and feeble— Jane Jacobs
b : inadequate, inferior a feeble excuse

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Other Words from feeble

feebleness \ ˈfē-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce feebleness (audio) \ noun
feebly \ ˈfē-​blē How to pronounce feebly (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for feeble

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 crippling 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 feeble in a Sentence

She's still feeble from her long illness. We heard a feeble cry for help. Business is suffering because of the feeble economy. He made a feeble attempt to explain his behavior. He offered a feeble excuse for his behavior. “Dislike” is too feeble a word for how she feels about him.
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Recent Examples on the Web The offensive tweet, since deleted, featured a black-and-white cartoon that depicted a giant hand with a blue Star of David imposed on the sleeve, smashing a crowd of feeble-looking people beneath it. Washington Post, "John Cusack apologizes for anti-Semitic tweet — after defending why he posted it," 18 June 2019 The 77th annual Golden Globe Awards show, coming up Sunday, Jan. 5 on NBC, is obviously courting buzz by bringing Ricky Gervais, known for his sometimes-funny, sometimes-feeble wisecracks about stars, back to host for a fifth time. oregonlive, "Golden Globes 2020: Broadcast TV’s shutout spotlights the divide between viewer habits and awards buzz," 31 Dec. 2019 And free sailing is what Saints WR Michael Thomas will find all day against the feeble Falcons. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 10: Last-minute moves," 10 Nov. 2019 But two minutes later it was handed some respite, as Cavani beat a feeble offside-trap to bear down on goal, only to be bettered by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen's boot. SI.com, "Barcelona 6-1 PSG: Remembering That Mad Midweek Miracle at Camp Nou," 30 Oct. 2019 All of that rendering beauty sets up Luigi's feeble, adorable terror. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Luigi’s Mansion 3 review: The most “Nintendo” game from Nintendo in years," 28 Oct. 2019 The six-day spectacle included shameful statements, slimy cover-ups and feeble apologies that left a cloud over baseball’s best team. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "As Giants search for new GM, Astros fiasco a reminder of what’s at stake," 26 Oct. 2019 The left-hander limited a feeble Padres lineup to two hits and a walk while striking out seven over six scoreless innings. Los Angeles Times, "Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers’ bullpen sharp in brisk shutout over the Padres," 26 Sep. 2019 When the team retrieves the carousel, a gray cylindrical frame outfitted with sensors and large sampling bottles, the winch is too feeble to hoist it on deck. Paul Voosen, Science Magazine, "A project to monitor every aspect of a fast-shrinking glacier could hold an answer to an urgent question: How fast will seas rise?," 10 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of feeble

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for feeble

Middle English feble, from Anglo-French, from Latin flebilis lamentable, wretched, from flēre to weep — more at bleat

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Learn More about feeble

Time Traveler for feeble

Time Traveler

The first known use of feeble was in the 12th century

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Statistics for feeble

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Feeble.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feeble. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for feeble


How to pronounce feeble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of feeble

: very weak
: not good enough : not successful or effective


fee·​ble | \ ˈfē-bəl How to pronounce feeble (audio) \
feebler\ -​blər \; feeblest\ -​bləst \

Kids Definition of feeble

1 : lacking in strength or endurance a feeble old dog
2 : not effective or sufficient a feeble attempt Her feeble cry could not be heard.

Other Words from feeble

feebleness \ -​bəl-​nəs \ noun
feebly \ -​blē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on feeble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for feeble

Spanish Central: Translation of feeble

Nglish: Translation of feeble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of feeble for Arabic Speakers

Comments on feeble

What made you want to look up feeble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


dull or mediocre

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