weak·​ling | \ ˈwē-kliŋ How to pronounce weakling (audio) \

Definition of weakling

: one that is weak in body, character, or mind

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Other Words from weakling

weakling adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for weakling


softy (or softie), wimp, wuss (also wussy)



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Examples of weakling in a Sentence

he had been a weakling until high school, when he started working out to put on muscle only a weakling would be willing to lie to save himself from punishment

Recent Examples on the Web

Narratives about 90-pound-weaklings or scrappy Little League teams are centered on the idea that the protagonists will eventually turn a corner and start winning, transforming into Captain America or making the state championships. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "The Netflix baking competition “Nailed It” teaches us how to find joy in failure," 3 June 2019 In Braveheart, for instance, Edward is portrayed as a weakling; and Mel Gibson’s William Wallace cuckolds the King, impregnating his wife. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Beyond The Favourite: The Royal Family's Very Queer History," 22 Feb. 2019 Once Wall Street’s weakling, Morgan Stanley is in the late innings of a multiyear turnaround under Mr. Gorman, a matter-of-fact Australian who spent a decade as a McKinsey & Co. consultant before coming to finance. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Goldman, Morgan Stanley Show Wall Street Charging Ahead," 16 Oct. 2018 The following month, after suffering complications from surgery, the man who’d plucked Chrysler from liquidation, merged it with Fiat and guided both weaklings to profitability, died at age 66. Sam Walker, WSJ, "The Leader of the Future: Why Sergio Marchionne Fit the Profile," 11 Aug. 2018 In this view, Facebook is a naive weakling afraid to take any enforcement action on its platform; Apple, on the other hand, is the practical one who never pretended to embrace free speech in the first place. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Apple crushed Alex Jones — then tossed him a lifeline," 8 Aug. 2018 Australia is here because of that and regarded as a tournament weakling, though the team earned some credit in a courageous 2-1 defeat to France. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "The United States' World Cup failure is looking worse every day," 19 June 2018 Neither of these big guys is a weakling opponent imported from out of town to make the local kid look good. Don Steinberg, Philly.com, "Liacouras Center boxing: Philadelphia heavyweights square off," 26 Apr. 2018 And what if that kid was a sickly, sensitive weakling? Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "God of War (2018): How to reinvent a beloved series without ruining what works," 12 Apr. 2018

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

1548, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near weakling





weak link


weak mayor

Statistics for weakling

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Time Traveler for weakling

The first known use of weakling was in 1548

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English Language Learners Definition of weakling

disapproving : a weak person


weak·​ling | \ ˈwē-kliŋ How to pronounce weakling (audio) \

Kids Definition of weakling

: a person or animal that lacks strength

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More from Merriam-Webster on weakling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for weakling

Spanish Central: Translation of weakling

Nglish: Translation of weakling for Spanish Speakers

Comments on weakling

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


readily or continually undergoing change

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