Definition of weak
1 : lacking strength: such asa : deficient in physical vigor : feeble, debilitatedb : not able to sustain or exert much weight, pressure, or strainc : not able to resist external force or withstand attackd : easily upset or nauseated a weak stomach
2a : mentally or intellectually deficientb : not firmly decided : vacillatingc : resulting from or indicating lack of judgment or discernmentd : 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 eyesb (1) : lacking skill or proficiency tutoring for weaker students (2) : indicative of a lack of skill or aptitude history was my weakest subjectc : wanting in vigor of expression or effect a weak translation of the poem
5a : deficient in the usual or required ingredients : dilute weak coffeeb : lacking normal intensity or potency a weak radio signal a weak strain of virus
7 : 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
8a : bearing the minimal degree of stress occurring in the language a weak syllableb : having little or no stress and obscured vowel sound 'd in he'd is the weak form of would
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.
Recent Examples of weak from the Web
Both sides saw moments in the BBC show when their opponents hit weak areas.
Companies accelerated their hiring last month in a sign the labor market remains healthy and the economy is strengthening after a weak winter.
Part of that is based on forecasts for El Nino, which is expected to be either weak or nonexistent this year.
Volkswagen sales rose 4 percent over weak numbers last year due to its diesel emissions cheating scandal.
The rise in spending was led by a 0.9 percent rise in purchases of long-lasting durable goods, reflecting a rebound in demand for autos after a weak first quarter.
Although the Bush administration used the drug charges as justification for the invasion, the proof was surprisingly weak.
Forecasters also struggle with weak, sloppy storms that lack definition.
But forecasters expect weak or even nonexistent El Niño conditions; that weather phenomenon, which warms the waters of the Pacific Ocean, tends to suppress Atlantic storms.
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.
Origin and Etymology of 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
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of weak
WEAK Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of weak for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of weak for Students
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
Seen and Heard
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