adjective fee·ble \ ˈfē-bəl \
|Updated on: 6 Aug 2018

Definition of feeble

feebler play \ˈfē-b(ə-)lər\; feeblest play \ˈfē-b(ə-)ləst\
1 a : markedly lacking in strength
  • a feeble old man
b : indicating weakness
  • taking only feeble steps
2 a : 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


play \ˈfē-bəl-nəs\ noun


play \ˈfē-blē\ adverb

Examples of feeble in a Sentence

  1. She's still feeble from her long illness.

  2. We heard a feeble cry for help.

  3. Business is suffering because of the feeble economy.

  4. He made a feeble attempt to explain his behavior.

  5. He offered a feeble excuse for his behavior.

  6. “Dislike” is too feeble a word for how she feels about him.

Recent Examples of feeble from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of feeble

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

FEEBLE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of feeble for English Language Learners

  • : very weak

  • : not good enough : not successful or effective

FEEBLE Defined for Kids


adjective fee·ble \ ˈfē-bəl \

Definition of feeble for Students

feebler \-blər\; feeblest \-bləst\
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.


\-bəl-nəs\ noun


\-blē\ adverb

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