in·​firm | \ in-ˈfərm How to pronounce infirm (audio) \

Definition of infirm

1 : of poor or deteriorated vitality especially : feeble from age
2 : weak of mind, will, or character : irresolute, vacillating
3 : not solid or stable : insecure

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Other Words from infirm

infirmly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for infirm

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 infirm in a Sentence

The clinic provides free care for elderly and infirm people who lack health insurance. the elderly and infirm have to be especially careful during the winter months
Recent Examples on the Web Elderly and infirm residents were left in areas near radioactive contamination, and many others moved unnecessarily from uncontaminated areas (resulting in many deaths from winter conditions). Cham Dallas, The Conversation, "Nuclear threats are increasing – here’s how the US should prepare for a nuclear event," 6 Aug. 2020 If that’s what a vaccine does to the young, imagine then the side effects for the old and infirm, who are the ones most in need of a viable drug. William A. Haseltine, Scientific American, "Lessons for COVID-19 from the Early Days of AIDS," 6 July 2020 One by one, the judge read aloud the names of the victims, mostly the elderly and infirm, who had suffered horrific, preventable deaths. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: The harrowing diary of a COVID-19 survivor," 17 June 2020 And that is all before the coronavirus reared its ugly head, which, as I am given to understand, has a predilection for the aged and infirm. Michael Taylor,, "Liberty Bar owner in the age of coronavirus: ‘I feel like the tail struggling to wag the dog’," 12 June 2020 Data for nine rich countries gathered from various sources by show that care homes for the elderly and infirm have accounted for 40-80% of covid-19 deaths (see chart 1). The Economist, "To each according to his need The risk of severe covid-19 is not uniform," 21 May 2020 The highly contagious virus has ravaged many Florida long-term care facilities whose residents are often elderly or infirm. al, "Former Alabama resident’s coronavirus death investigated as murder in Miami," 6 May 2020 The infirm are especially vulnerable to the disease, which is why nursing homes, with large groups of infirm people living together, have been so hard hit. The Editors, National Review, "The Next Phase," 29 Apr. 2020 The tally paints a grim picture of the scale of the outbreak in homes tasked with caring for the elderly and infirm. Anchorage Daily News, "1 in 6 nursing homes across U.S. report coronavirus cases," 30 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'infirm.' 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 infirm

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for infirm

Middle English, from Latin infirmus, from in- + firmus firm

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Time Traveler for infirm

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for infirm

Last Updated

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Infirm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for infirm


How to pronounce infirm (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of infirm

: having a condition of weakness or illness that usually lasts for a long time and is caused especially by old age


in·​firm | \ in-ˈfərm How to pronounce infirm (audio) \

Kids Definition of infirm

: weak or frail in body


in·​firm | \ in-ˈfərm How to pronounce infirm (audio) \

Medical Definition of infirm

: of poor or deteriorated vitality especially : feeble from age

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More from Merriam-Webster on infirm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for infirm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with infirm

Spanish Central: Translation of infirm

Nglish: Translation of infirm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of infirm for Arabic Speakers

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