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 And the challenges that these institutions have in the past been willing to mount to that injustice and danger have been too feeble, too sporadic, too easily ignored in the press of routine. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Back to Church—But Not, Let’s Hope, Back to Normal," 6 July 2020 The same thing is true on a much grander scale, as the federal government’s response to the pandemic, uniquely feeble among rich countries’, is getting ever harder to distinguish from a conscious effort to infect Americans. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "“Covid Parties” Are Not a Thing," 2 July 2020 Humans wanted things like wholeness, community, or salvation; but our efforts, systematized in ways our feeble consciousness can’t ever fully grasp, end up ushering in anomie, bureaucracy, or profit. George Blaustein, The New Republic, "Searching for Consolation in Max Weber’s Work Ethic," 2 July 2020 Those gatherings represented a low-water mark in our feeble fight against the plague and in our war against ourselves. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: Wear a mask. Liberty without responsibility is chaos.," 1 July 2020 Those numbers are not exactly feeble, and indeed, the GT43 still manages to charge from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds according to Mercedes's estimate, only 0.7 behind the GT53, which, in our testing, got to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, "2021 Mercedes-AMG GT43 Lowers Barrier to Entry in Higher-Performance Lineup," 16 June 2020 High unemployment and feeble inflation give the central bank more room to keep its benchmark short-term interest rate at rock-bottom levels. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Despite breakout jobs report, Fed likely to downgrade outlook, signal near-zero rates for years," 9 June 2020 Behind the scenes, masked prep cooks make somewhat feeble attempts at kitchen banter while plunging immersion blenders into vats of potatoes. Mara Shalhoup, Bon Appétit, "One Month Into a Reopened Economy, Georgia’s Restaurants Are Still Making Tough Choices," 3 June 2020 The degree of difficulty was low in carving up a feeble Lions defense that struggles to rush the passer or take the ball away. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "The Bears players with the most to gain in December are ________. Answers to 4 timely topics before Thursday night’s game against the Cowboys.," 3 Dec. 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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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

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Feeble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feeble. Accessed 10 Aug. 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

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