\ 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

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 Cincinnati enacted a mask mandate months ago, but enforcement is weak and many flout the requirement. Dan Horn, The Enquirer, "Why is Cincinnati City Hall closing? More city workers are getting sick.," 13 Nov. 2020 The cases that Trumpworld has managed to gin up so far are objectively weak. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "This Is (Probably) Not a Coup D’Etat," 12 Nov. 2020 The family’s connection to a telephone landline has yet to be repaired, and cellular reception in the area is weak. Donovan Brink, oregonlive, "Two months after Archie Creek fire, a miracle ending for Steamboat Inn ‘kitty’ who fled into woods," 12 Nov. 2020 Legal experts have said his claims are weak, and even Trump's allies in Congress concede the lawsuits are unlikely to change the Nov. 3 election outcome. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "Despite election results showing Biden win, Pompeo said he expects 'transition to a second Trump administration'," 10 Nov. 2020 The woman's pulse was weak at times but her heart never stopped beating. Vic Ryckaert, The Indianapolis Star, "Trauma nurse Colby Snyder volunteered to work the polls. A voter was lucky she was there.," 3 Nov. 2020 Tourism in North America is still weak and Europe is seeing a resurgence in virus cases, leading to new lockdowns. Kim Bhasin, Bloomberg.com, "Estee Lauder Says Duty-Free Sales in China Are Bouncing Back," 2 Nov. 2020 The breakdown of the longstanding Arab consensus that recognition only be granted in return for territorial concessions has meanwhile left the Palestinians arguably more weak, isolated and demoralized than at any point in their history. Joseph Krauss, Star Tribune, "Trump's Mideast deals tout 'peace' where there was never war," 14 Sep. 2020 One study found that men who cried at work were held in lower regard than women who cried, but only because they were seen to be like women, who were already expected to be weak, emotional, and less competent. Maureen Stanton, Longreads, "Through a Glass, Tearfully," 10 Aug. 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

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Weak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weak. Accessed 30 Nov. 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

Choose the Right Synonym for weak

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.

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