weak

adjective
\ 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

But the show’s acting is weaker than Into the Badlands, and its writing is even worse. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Netflix’s Wu Assassins series lacks the Hong Kong cinema magic," 8 Aug. 2019 Light emanating from them was especially weak, considering their age. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Just Found 39 Ancient Galaxies," 7 Aug. 2019 The Columbian ground squirrel, for example, has begun emerging from hibernation later, and has been weaker as a result. Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker, "The Changing Climate Inside the World’s Largest Bat Colony," 6 Aug. 2019 So while Thursday’s meeting may have been tough for those from the industry in attendance, there’s a good chance that any potential regulation would be relatively weak to avoid challenges in court. Jane Coaston, Vox, "The top House Republican is blaming video games for the weekend’s mass shootings," 4 Aug. 2019 The heavy metals are escaping partly because the planet is so big and puffy that its gravity is relatively weak. Fox News, "NASA discovers 'extreme' alien planet that's shaped like a football," 2 Aug. 2019 Fish smoothies are commonly used in marine animal rehabilitation and are typically given only to patients that are too weak to eat on their own, said Krysta Higuchi, a spokeswoman for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "There’s something fishy about the smoothies at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center," 1 Aug. 2019 But their governments are riven by disputes and are too weak to implement big reforms—to pensions, say, or social care. The Economist, "Are Western democracies becoming ungovernable?," 1 Aug. 2019 The remainder of the light is used to set the phase of its own laser, which is sent back to the master satellite—the received laser light is too weak to just be reflected back. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Satellites play chase to measure gravity, achieve picometer accuracy," 23 July 2019

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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Statistics for weak

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for weak

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

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More Definitions for weak

weak

adjective

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

weak

adjective
\ 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with weak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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