in·​fir·​mi·​ty | \ in-ˈfər-mə-tē How to pronounce infirmity (audio) \
plural infirmities

Definition of infirmity

1a : the quality or state of being infirm
b : the condition of being feeble : frailty
3 : a personal failing : foible one of the besetting infirmities of living creatures is egotism— A. J. Toynbee

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Examples of infirmity in a Sentence

In recent years she has had to reduce her schedule because of age and infirmity. the infirmities of old age
Recent Examples on the Web After paying life insurance premiums for decades, Nicholas said, a policy-holder might miss a payment because of illness or infirmity, then fail to receive a cutoff notice while in the hospital. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Aug. 2021 But throughout 2020, there was some good news buried in the bad concerning that other great infirmity: the sickly state of the earthly climate. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 2 Mar. 2021 When interviewed by state inspectors, however, the woman, identified in a state licensing report only as Patient 1, said her only infirmity was some back pain from arthritis. Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times, 9 Dec. 2020 Some friends and Navy buddies, either because of age or infirmity, stayed away. Washington Post, 9 Dec. 2020 Last spring, Bernie Sanders’s surrogates and supporters promoted the hashtag #WhereIsJoe, implying that Biden’s campaign was keeping him out of sight to hide mental infirmity. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, 26 Oct. 2020 Constitutional experts say it was originally intended to cover physical and mental infirmity, not misconduct. Simeon Tegel, Washington Post, 17 Sep. 2020 After establishing this sociopolitical context, Harkup delves into chapter-by-chapter analysis of specific characters’ causes of death, including infirmity, murder, war, plague, poison, emotion and bear attack. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 May 2020 The only judgment of Ozymandias comes through Rorschach, who, with his problematic politics and psychological infirmities, is himself a spoof of the righteous-hero trope. Maya Phillips, The New Yorker, 17 Dec. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

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Last Updated

5 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Infirmity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for infirmity



English Language Learners Definition of infirmity

: the quality or state of being weak or ill especially because of old age
: a disease or illness that usually lasts for a long time


in·​fir·​mi·​ty | \ in-ˈfər-mə-tē How to pronounce infirmity (audio) \
plural infirmities

Kids Definition of infirmity

: the condition of being weak or frail (as from age or illness)


in·​fir·​mi·​ty | \ in-ˈfər-mət-ē How to pronounce infirmity (audio) \
plural infirmities

Medical Definition of infirmity

: the quality or state of being infirm especially : an unsound, unhealthy, or debilitated state

More from Merriam-Webster on infirmity

Nglish: Translation of infirmity for Spanish Speakers


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