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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

And when things do go wrong, creditors’ ability to enforce agreements or seize collateral can be weak. The Economist, "Buy-out firms are the new banks in emerging markets," 14 June 2019 At age 11, she was told by her doctor that her lungs were weak and could collapse. Gary Curreri, sun-sentinel.com, "Champion swimmer transforms into mermaid for water safety awareness," 14 June 2019 But his proposal is likely to face opposition from residents and community leaders who say San Diego’s mass transit system is too weak for the city to be allowing construction of high-rise buildings nearby. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Faulconer proposes relaxing building height limits near transit lines," 11 June 2019 The boy, Daylin Campbell, was gifted a bike for Christmas but was too weak to ride it at the time. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Minnesota Police Officer Responding to a Welfare Check Winds Up Mowing Elderly Woman's Lawn," 10 June 2019 But opponents object because the bill would also allow for extraditions to mainland China, where protections for defendants are weak and the party routinely prosecutes dissidents and others for political reasons. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "Fearing China’s Rule, Hong Kong Residents Resist Extradition Plan," 7 June 2019 Hiring was weak across a broad range of industries in May. Manufacturers added only 3,000 jobs, a fourth straight month of anemic gains. Christopher Rugaber, Anchorage Daily News, "US hiring slows amid trade tensions and weaker global economy," 7 June 2019 Competition is weak, with regional players like Parag leading in some regions, and Amul, Mother Dairy, and Kwality dominating in others. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Ramdev’s Patanjali must move past pricing to win India’s consumer goods war," 3 June 2019 Against other currencies, such as the yen, which is a good barometer for risk in markets, the greenback is weaker. Eshe Nelson, Quartz, "Trump’s trade war is warping global markets," 31 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about weak

Statistics for weak

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for weak

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on weak

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!