infirmity

noun

in·​fir·​mi·​ty in-ˈfər-mə-tē How to pronounce infirmity (audio)
plural infirmities
1
a
: the quality or state of being infirm
b
: the condition of being feeble : frailty
2
3
: a personal failing : foible
one of the besetting infirmities of living creatures is egotismA. J. Toynbee

Example Sentences

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 Novels force us not only to face but to experience the terror of illness, sorrow, poverty and infirmity. New York Times, 8 Sep. 2022 Young, able bodies would be challenged but not defeated by steep grades and a refusal of stasis: a revolutionary architecture of movement did not leave much room for infirmity. Curbed, 14 Apr. 2022 Right now, the law still restricts MAiD patients who have some sort of physical infirmity. Joel Mathis, The Week, 21 Dec. 2022 But that does not entail that illness and infirmity are not things to be avoided if that possibility was available! Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 14 July 2012 The arrival comes two years after the zoo had to euthanize two of its older female elephants, Ambika, 72, and Shanthi, 45, due to old age and infirmity. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2022 The show’s catalog states that such images may have elicited sympathy and benevolence, along with a sense that outward signs of infirmity were indications of personal failings. Steven Litt, cleveland, 23 Oct. 2022 Viserys calls it all off, his royal command still holding some authority despite his infirmity and the growing divisions in his family. Sean T. Collins, Rolling Stone, 2 Oct. 2022 How many elderly Americans need a caregiver because of mental or physical infirmity (or both)? Stephen Miller, WSJ, 10 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near infirmity

Cite this Entry

“Infirmity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infirmity. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

infirmity

noun
in·​fir·​mi·​ty in-ˈfər-mət-ē How to pronounce infirmity (audio)
plural infirmities
1
: the quality or state of being infirm
2

Medical Definition

infirmity

noun
in·​fir·​mi·​ty in-ˈfər-mət-ē How to pronounce infirmity (audio)
plural infirmities
: the quality or state of being infirm
especially : an unsound, unhealthy, or debilitated state

More from Merriam-Webster on infirmity

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