weak·​ness | \ ˈwēk-nəs How to pronounce weakness (audio) \

Definition of weakness

1 : the quality or state of being weak also : an instance or period of being weak backed down in a moment of weakness
3a : a special desire or fondness has a weakness for sweets
b : an object of special desire or fondness pizza is my weakness

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Examples of weakness in a Sentence

The weakness of her voice surprised me. The incident exposed his weakness as a leader. Some see compromise as a sign of weakness. the weakness of a radio signal connection the weakness of the dollar I told them my secret in a moment of weakness. The tutor assessed the student's strengths and weaknesses. The basketball team has few weaknesses. Chocolate is my greatest weakness. He has a weakness for desserts.
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Recent Examples on the Web Vancouver was plus-26 on draws in the series, exposing a Wild weakness. Randy Johnson, Star Tribune, "Quick postseason exit leaves Wild with pressing questions," 10 Aug. 2020 About a week later, the patient develops weakness in one or more limbs, and may have trouble walking. NBC News, "Cases of polio-like illness may increase among children, CDC warns," 4 Aug. 2020 Although exports had fallen to a nine-quarter low, weakness in consumption and a strong inflow of investment income and remittances still helped India to achieve a surplus. Prathamesh Mulye, Quartz India, "India’s shift to net exporter after 18 years is not a reason for celebration," 3 Aug. 2020 Signs of economic weakness should add pressure on Congress to come to terms on its next stimulus package. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Stimulus talks have stalled. But the pressure to act is rising," 2 Aug. 2020 Henson said the pandemic was exposing another possible weakness in the state’s governing system. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "As Gov. Greg Abbott leads state through COVID-19 pandemic, where is the Texas Legislature?," 8 July 2020 The bank thinks Biden would be careful about pushing policies that risk hurting economic growth — such as totally repealing the Trump business tax cuts — during a time of economic weakness and uncertainty. James Pethokoukis, TheWeek, "Wall Street pines for President Biden," 7 July 2020 Eban emphasizes that part of the FDA’s weakness in foreign enforcement was of its own making. Daniel J. Kevles, The New York Review of Books, "The Scandal of Our Drug Supply," 6 July 2020 Slack booked a $7 million headwind in billing for the first quarter, due in part to weakness in industries hit by the pandemic—travel, hospitality and ride-sharing. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "At Slack, Winning New Users Is Balanced Against Collecting Belated Payments," 16 June 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for weakness

Time Traveler

The first known use of weakness was in the 14th century

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Statistics for weakness

Last Updated

13 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Weakness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weakness. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for weakness


How to pronounce weakness (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of weakness

: the quality or state of being weak
: a quality or feature that prevents someone or something from being effective or useful
: something that you like so much that you are often unable to resist it


weak·​ness | \ ˈwēk-nəs How to pronounce weakness (audio) \

Kids Definition of weakness

1 : lack of strength
2 : a weak point : flaw The plan has some weaknesses.
3 : a special fondness or the object of a special fondness Chocolate is my weakness.

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