in·​fir·​mi·​ty | \in-ˈfər-mə-tē \
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

In rural India, glasses are seen as a sign of infirmity, and in many places, a hindrance for young women seeking to get married. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "A Simple Way to Improve a Billion Lives: Eyeglasses," 5 May 2018 Their perseverance in the face of infirmities (some depended on walkers and canes) endowed their demonstrations with disproportionate publicity. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "Joan Wile, a Grandmother Against the War in Iraq, Dies at 86," 23 May 2018 But beyond the constitutional infirmities with Mr. Henninger’s argument is a practical problem. WSJ, "Correcting the Record on Judicial Activism," 9 July 2018 Democrats suggested that any constitutional infirmity could be addressed in a separate bill. Washington Post, "Tougher straw purchase penalties, other gun measures stall," 15 Mar. 2018 Some infirmities are inevitable, but Callaway and the new medical staff vowed to be vigilant about preventive measures, such as regular days off. James Wagner, New York Times, "If the Mets Succeed, They’re Experienced. If They Fail, They’re Old.," 31 Mar. 2018 The case has drawn the attention of Pope Francis, who during a Sunday blessing in St. Peter’s Square this month, offered prayers for Alfie and others who are suffering from serious infirmities. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Alfie Evans, severely ill British toddler, may be transported to Rome for care if appeal succeeds," 24 Apr. 2018 Some scientists believe that a breakthrough in progeria research could have implications for the treatment of heart disease and other infirmities of aging in the general population. Jonathan Saltzman,, "A pediatric researcher whose son died of progeria sees promise in new treatment," 24 Apr. 2018 A few Rydal Park residents who gathered to talk about ageism wouldn’t admit to avoiding anyone based on their age or infirmity. Stacey Burling,, "Old and ageist: Why so many older people have prejudices about their peers - and themselves," 3 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near infirmity






in fits


Statistics for infirmity

Last Updated

1 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for infirmity

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

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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 \
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 \
plural infirmities

Medical Definition of infirmity 

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on infirmity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for infirmity

Spanish Central: Translation of infirmity

Nglish: Translation of infirmity for Spanish Speakers

Comments on infirmity

What made you want to look up infirmity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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