feeble

adjective
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 The image of her seemingly staring at me shows up in my feeble mind way too often. cleveland, 25 May 2021 Fortunately, enforcement is feeble everywhere and more than half of the States assess no penalties for quarantine violations. Ed Perkins, chicagotribune.com, 2 Mar. 2021 The number of hate groups in America spiked after Barack Obama’s election, and hate crimes have also gone up, but the appetite for prosecuting them, at any level—federal, state, local—has been feeble in recent years. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, 27 Feb. 2021 Hydralite, glass of water, feeble teeth brushing (every bit helps) ... BostonGlobe.com, 8 May 2021 At a mass meeting in Portsmouth Square, officials decided to organize three volunteer fire companies and ordered two new fire engines, replacing a feeble old machine that President Martin Van Buren had used to water his lawns. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Apr. 2021 My poor mother has spent too many years putting up with feeble hugs from the arms of her deadbeat son. Jason Gay, WSJ, 23 Apr. 2021 Poor, feeble Daniel just can’t hold his own anymore for some reason—did the showrunners ever even watched Seasons 1-3? Erik Kain, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2021 Will that be worth it, the occasional Bunyan-esque bomb sandwiched between a whole lot of strikeouts and feeble at-bats by the Twins first baseman? Star Tribune, 14 Apr. 2021

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

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Feeble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feeble. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for feeble

feeble

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of feeble

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

feeble

adjective
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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