frail

adjective
\ ˈfrāl How to pronounce frail (audio) \

Definition of frail

1 : easily led into evil frail humanity
2 : easily broken or destroyed : fragile frail, open-cockpit biplanes …— Jonathan Weiner
3a : physically weak a frail old woman a frail voice
b : slight, unsubstantial smiled a minute frail smile— Raymond Chandler

Other Words from frail

frailly \ ˈfrā(l)-​lē How to pronounce frail (audio) \ adverb
frailness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for frail

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 frail in a Sentence

In his old age his health became increasingly frail. a small and frail ship
Recent Examples on the Web If one man can block the industrial development of what is, for now, the world’s hegemon, then its hegemony must be very frail indeed. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 15 July 2022 Anyway, the original Desdemona would have been too frail to withstand the filming process, and the slight stains—markers of a life once lived—not polished enough for the silver screen. Alice Newbold, Vogue, 29 Apr. 2022 Some of the residents who’d lost antibodies were too frail to receive the news themselves, so the facility’s head nurse sent emails to their families. Chico Harlan And Mia Alberti, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Oct. 2021 Some of the residents who’d lost antibodies were too frail to receive the news themselves, so the facility’s head nurse sent emails to their families. Chico Harlan And Mia Alberti, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Oct. 2021 Some of the residents who’d lost antibodies were too frail to receive the news themselves, so the facility’s head nurse sent emails to their families. Chico Harlan And Mia Alberti, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Oct. 2021 Some of the residents who’d lost antibodies were too frail to receive the news themselves, so the facility’s head nurse sent emails to their families. Chico Harlan And Mia Alberti, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Oct. 2021 Some of the residents who’d lost antibodies were too frail to receive the news themselves, so the facility’s head nurse sent emails to their families. Chico Harlan And Mia Alberti, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Oct. 2021 Some of the residents who’d lost antibodies were too frail to receive the news themselves, so the facility’s head nurse sent emails to their families. Chico Harlan And Mia Alberti, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of frail

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for frail

Middle English frele, frayle, borrowed from Anglo-French frel, fraile, going back to Latin fragilis "liable to break, weak" — more at fragile

Learn More About frail

Time Traveler for frail

Time Traveler

The first known use of frail was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near frail

fraik

frail

frailejón

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Statistics for frail

Last Updated

30 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Frail.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/frail. Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for frail

frail

adjective
\ ˈfrāl How to pronounce frail (audio) \

Kids Definition of frail

: very delicate or weak a frail little child

More from Merriam-Webster on frail

Nglish: Translation of frail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frail for Arabic Speakers

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