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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Despite the fact that the Echo’s sound quality is relatively feeble compared to Sonos, Bose Corp. and other audio equipment makers, Amazon has become the top seller of home speakers in the world. Brad Stone, Bloomberg.com, "What the Sonos-Google War Means for Big Tech," 8 May 2020 Business investment, which has been hobbled by trade fights, feeble growth overseas and resulting weakness in manufacturing, fell for the third straight month. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Economy grew solid 2.1% in fourth quarter on consumer spending, trade, housing," 30 Jan. 2020 Neither is the crisis in Italy a product of an especially feeble health system. Anchorage Daily News, "Italy’s coronavirus deaths may be more a preview than anomaly.," 23 Mar. 2020 The country’s asylum system is also feeble compared with that of the United States; the migration office there reported that in 2018, a staff of eight processed only 262 requests for refuge. New York Times, "Immigration Officers Say Asylum Deal With Guatemala Is Unlawful," 6 Mar. 2020 The result is an unusually large satellite that is capable of picking up a handset’s feeble signal, and also of broadcasting directly back to that handset. The Economist, "Call from the heavens A new firm says it can to link satellites to ordinary smartphones," 7 Mar. 2020 Lincoln gets pushed into the background as a largely confused and feeble figure, and the Radical Republicans in Congress take the foreground as the managers of the war and the architects of abolition. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Did Lincoln Really Matter?," 3 Feb. 2020 The White House dispatched senior executive-branch officials to present a hopelessly feeble and muddled case to the public. Brian Stewart, National Review, "The Education of a Cynic," 5 Oct. 2019 Winston Smith awakens in the basement of the Ministry of Love, groggy and dazed, scared and feeble. SI.com, "Filling 90min's 'Room 101' With the Worst Things Football Has to Offer," 1 Oct. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about feeble

Time Traveler for feeble

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for feeble

Last Updated

13 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Feeble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feeble. Accessed 24 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!