frail

adjective
\ ˈfrāl \

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

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Other Words from frail

frailly \ ˈfrā(l)-​lē \ 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

Why would a boy of Devonte's age be so small and frail? Glamour, "Broken Harts, Episode 5: 'Owies'," 8 Jan. 2019 One woman was so frail her bones were visible beneath her skin, Ms. Kelly said. Sharon Otterman, New York Times, "Music Therapy Offers an End-of-Life Grace Note," 15 Jan. 2018 Will the police ever realize that sweet, frail, confused old Maud is in fact sharp as a tack and just as ruthless? Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Tales to Warm a Cold Winter’s Night," 21 Dec. 2018 Josef seems the polar opposite: meek and seemingly frail despite obvious competence as a formidable foil to the management protecting whatever secrets lie within. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Suspiria and Border offer two very different tales of otherworldly creatures," 26 Oct. 2018 This year, some plans will start providing limited assistance to help keep frail seniors safe in their own homes instead of nursing homes. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, The Seattle Times, "Medicare upgrades its website ahead of sign-up season," 2 Oct. 2018 In some cases, owners who are too frail or poor to travel have had success simply asking the resort to take back their timeshares, says Brian Rogers, owner of Timeshare Users Group, a forum for timeshare owners. Liz Weston, The Seattle Times, "How not to inherit mom’s timeshare | Liz Weston," 1 Oct. 2018 After 13 months, the stress from all of her cloak-and-dagger dealings became so intense that the 38-year-old mom came down with shingles (a disease that usually strikes the old and frail). Blake Miller, Redbook, "Are You or Your Partner Committing Financial Infidelity?," 21 Jan. 2012 Silva was frail, emaciated and had a terrible odor. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Ross Butler Denied He Was Involved in an Alleged Plot to Steal a Kurt Cobain Guitar," 17 Oct. 2018

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near frail

fraid

fraidy-cat

fraik

frail

frailejón

frailty

fraim

Statistics for frail

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frail

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

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More Definitions for frail

frail

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of frail

: having less than a normal amount of strength or force : very weak

: easily damaged or destroyed

frail

adjective
\ ˈfrāl \

Kids Definition of frail

: very delicate or weak a frail little child

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More from Merriam-Webster on frail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with frail

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frail

Spanish Central: Translation of frail

Nglish: Translation of frail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frail for Arabic Speakers

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