fee·​ble | \ˈfē-bəl \
feebler\ˈfē-​b(ə-​)lər \; feeblest\ˈfē-​b(ə-​)ləst \

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 \ noun
feebly \ˈfē-​blē \ 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

That, Dovey Johnson Roundtree knew, could have immense significance for her client, a feeble-minded day laborer accused of one of the most sensational murders of the mid-20th century. Margalit Fox, BostonGlobe.com, "Dovey Johnson Roundtree, barrier-breaking lawyer, 104," 23 May 2018 Despite their feeble opposition, Hungary's ruthless display evoked comparisons with the 'Magical Magyars' of 1954 - who, along with the Netherlands in 1974 and Brazil in 1982, are arguably one of the greatest sides who didn't win the World Cup. SI.com, "On This Day: 15th June - Hungary Roll Back the Years in Ten-Goal Demolition of Hopeless El Salvador," 15 June 2018 Mr Trump, and his generals, are exasperated by the feeble efforts of many NATO members to honour their promise to raise defence spending towards 2% of GDP by 2024. The Economist, "The Western alliance is in trouble," 5 July 2018 Bolivia was feeble Monday night in Chester, and the USA won easily, 3-0. Brian Straus, SI.com, "USMNT Makes Numerous Roster Swaps; Pulisic Among 7 to Depart Camp," 29 May 2018 For Hendricks, who relies on his changeup and sinker to induce feeble contact, his lack of command has cost him dearly. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Cubs rotation needs Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana to start clicking," 9 July 2018 Part of the progress, according to Mr. Selee, is a reaction against President Trump’s Mexiphobia, but the underlying influences are long-term and irreversible: Mexico is no longer a feeble suppliant but a potent, necessary partner. Felipe Fernández-armesto, WSJ, "‘Vanishing Frontiers’ Review: The Ties That Bind," 25 June 2018 Never mind that his once thriving kingdom has shrunk to the size of a postage stamp, inhabited by 1,000 citizens too feeble or damaged to leave. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Love and death in Spring Green: 'The Recruiting Officer,' 'Exit the King'," 3 July 2018 Parliament’s resistance to Mrs May’s extreme plan has been timid and the Labour opposition feeble. The Economist, "Britain is heading for a soft Brexit," 16 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near feeble



fee bill





Statistics for feeble

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for feeble

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

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More Definitions for feeble



English Language Learners Definition of feeble

: very weak

: not good enough : not successful or effective


fee·​ble | \ˈfē-bəl \
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).


a knickknack or trinket

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