fee·​ble | \ ˈfē-bəl How to pronounce feeble (audio) \
feebler\ ˈfē-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce feeble (audio) \; feeblest\ ˈfē-​b(ə-​)ləst How to pronounce feeble (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 feeble (audio) \ noun
feebly \ ˈfē-​blē How to pronounce feeble (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 But the feeble efforts on third downs, the lopsided time of possession, and 10 penalties (tying a season high) for 93 yards can’t happen. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: After two-game slide, Saints must regain health, mojo to live up to Super Bowl aspirations," 21 Dec. 2020 Purists maintain the franchise owes it to itself to win since the division isn’t out of any team’s feeble reach. David Moore, Dallas News, "How a win over the Bengals creates a conundrum for Andy Dalton, Mike McCarthy and Cowboys fans," 13 Dec. 2020 The reader’s feeble flashes of understanding are no match for Horowitz’s brand of three-dimensional chess, and the answers will be uncovered only through Susan’s expert textual analysis. New York Times, "One Whodunit Nests Inside Another in ‘Moonflower Murders’," 2 Dec. 2020 The Aggies, who didn’t play this past weekend because of multiple COVID-19 cases within the Mississippi program, have taken their lumps of late from some national media members who claim their style of play is tedious and/or their résumé is feeble. Brent Zwerneman, ExpressNews.com, "Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher on playoff lobbying: It’s how we play, not what we say," 15 Dec. 2020 Robinson wasn’t sure how to explain how an offense that looked so feeble for the first 10 games of the season has suddenly found its grove. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Do your eyes trust what they see? Translating the Chicago Bears’ most convincing win all season is complicated.," 13 Dec. 2020 As the Giants’ feeble offense failed to advance into Arizona’s end of the field in the first half, the Cardinals seemed to always be in Giants territory. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "Giants Cannot Protect Win Streak Against the Cardinals," 13 Dec. 2020 Yes, the restrictions have hurt the city’s hospitality industry, but no more so than the feeble federal response to the pandemic. Clancy Dubos, NOLA.com, "Cantrell’s new rule: No mask and you’ll pay $500 — or pick up trash," 23 Oct. 2020 Robinson never broke stride, blasting through the feeble tackle attempt on the way to career-long 54-yard run. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Could Bijan Robinson be Texas’ next Ricky Williams?," 9 Nov. 2020

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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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

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Feeble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feeble. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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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