\ ˈwēk How to pronounce weak (audio) \

Definition of weak

1 : lacking strength: such as
a : deficient in physical vigor : feeble, debilitated
b : not able to sustain or exert much weight, pressure, or strain
c : not able to resist external force or withstand attack
d : easily upset or nauseated a weak stomach
2a : mentally or intellectually deficient
b : not firmly decided : vacillating
c : resulting from or indicating lack of judgment or discernment
d : not able to withstand temptation or persuasion the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
3 : not factually grounded or logically presented a weak argument
4a : not able to function properly weak eyes
b(1) : lacking skill or proficiency tutoring for weaker students
(2) : indicative of a lack of skill or aptitude history was my weakest subject
c : wanting in vigor of expression or effect a weak translation of the poem
5a : deficient in the usual or required ingredients : dilute weak coffee
b : lacking normal intensity or potency a weak radio signal a weak strain of virus
6a : not having or exerting authority or political power weak government
7a : of, relating to, or constituting a verb or verb conjugation that in English forms the past tense and past participle by adding the suffix -ed or -d or -t
b of a noun or adjective declension in Germanic languages : retaining a lesser number of distinctions in case, number and gender
8a : bearing the minimal degree of stress occurring in the language a weak syllable
b : having little or no stress and obscured vowel sound 'd in he'd is the weak form of would
9 : tending toward a lower price or value a weak market a weak dollar
10 : ionizing only slightly in solution weak acids and bases

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Other Words from weak

weakly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for weak

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

weak, feeble, and frail mean not strong enough to stand pressure or hard effort. weak can be used of either a temporary or permanent loss of strength or power. I felt weak after the operation. I have weak eyes. feeble implies very great and pitiful weakness. A feeble dog wandered in the streets. frail can be used of a person who since birth has had a delicate body. Being a frail child I was always getting sick.

Examples of weak in a Sentence

He has a weak throwing arm. The illness left her too weak to stand up. The child was born with weak lungs. The batter hit a weak ground ball. She uttered her reply in a weak voice. The door's hinge is weak.
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Recent Examples on the Web In addition, American and United airlines are temporarily halting flights to Hong Kong, citing weak demand for flights amid the coronavirus outbreak. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "UPS and pilots union to make flights to and from China voluntary," 5 Feb. 2020 The second article arguing obstruction of Congress is considered the weaker of the two charges. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Some Democrats and maybe Republicans could split their votes on impeachment," 3 Feb. 2020 The economy has floundered—the government expects GDP growth of 5% in the year to March 31st, the weakest since the financial crisis. The Economist, "India’s budget disappoints investors," 1 Feb. 2020 However, companies have been reluctant to invest amid weak consumer demand, and the slowdown has only worsened since then. Rohit Inani, Quartz India, "Budget 2020: Income tax cuts aren’t the solution to India’s economic woes," 31 Jan. 2020 In cases where legislation exists, the penalties are weak and not backed by effective enforcement. Amindeh Blaise Atabong, Quartz Africa, "African countries are trying to work together to stop a borderless fake drug problem," 20 Jan. 2020 The majority of those tornadoes were the weakest on the scale — EF0s. Leigh Morgan, al, "What were some of the biggest weather stories of 2019?," 31 Dec. 2019 Data on Friday showed growth slowed to 4.5% in the July-September quarter from a year ago, the weakest since 2013, and down from 5% in the previous quarter. Anurag Joshi, Bloomberg.com, "Weak Rupee Prompting Global Funds to Dump India Bonds," 28 Nov. 2019 By contrast, Europe’s economy remained a global weak spot as 2020 got under way, with its services sector losing momentum while factories saw export orders begin to stabilize after a long and deep decline. Harriet Torry, WSJ, "U.S. Business Activity Increases in Early 2020," 24 Jan. 2020

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for weak

Middle English weike, from Old Norse veikr; akin to Old English wīcan to yield, Greek eikein to give way, Sanskrit vijate he speeds, flees

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Time Traveler for weak

Time Traveler

The first known use of weak was in the 13th century

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Statistics for weak

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Weak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weak. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for weak

How to pronounce weak (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of weak

: having little physical power or ability : not strong
: having little power or force
: likely to break or stop working properly : not able to handle weight, pressure, or strain
\ ˈwēk How to pronounce weak (audio) \
weaker; weakest

Kids Definition of weak

1 : lacking strength of body, mind, or spirit a weak smile a weak patient
2 : not able to stand much strain or force a weak rope
3 : easily overcome a weak argument
4 : not able to function well a weak heart
5 : not rich in some usual or important element weak tea
6 : lacking experience or skill He's a good reader, but is weak in math.
7 : not loud or forceful a weak voice
8 : relating to or being the lightest of three levels of stress in pronunciation

Other Words from weak

weakly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on weak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for weak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with weak

Spanish Central: Translation of weak

Nglish: Translation of weak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of weak for Arabic Speakers

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