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

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 My research suggests that the pudding spread to lots of places in Ireland—in part, perhaps, thanks to its blandness, many viewed it as suitable fare for the ill and infirm. Chris Baraniuk, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Sep. 2022 These laws help voters who are disabled or infirm, live in spread-out rural areas or reside on tribal lands with limited access to polling places or ballot drop boxes. Andy Kroll, ProPublica, 17 June 2012 These include 83 beds at the former Sockeye Inn for seniors and the medically infirm, 130 rooms at the former GuestHouse for workforce supportive housing, and 80 similar rooms at the Aviator Hotel. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 18 June 2022 Volunteers and Ukrainian soldiers were collecting people — especially the elderly and infirm — and arranging transportation to Kramatorsk and, farther west, to the rail hub of Dnipro. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, Los Angeles Times, 31 May 2022 Directed by Petra Volpe, the film follows a man serving a life sentence who takes an in-prison job caring for aging and infirm prisoners suffering from memory loss diseases. Angelique Jackson, Variety, 24 May 2022 The feature portrays a man serving a life sentence who takes an in-prison job caring for aging and infirm prisoners suffering from memory loss diseases. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 May 2022 Returning to the workplace presents special challenges for people caring for aging or infirm family members. Clare Ansberry, WSJ, 14 Apr. 2022 The infirm 66-year-old Hale died, unrepentant, in jail before serving out a 14-year sentence. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Statistics for infirm

Last Updated

15 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Infirm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for infirm


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

More from Merriam-Webster on infirm

Nglish: Translation of infirm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of infirm for Arabic Speakers


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