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
2 : fault, defect
3a : a special desire or fondness has a weakness for sweets
b : an object of special desire or fondness pizza is my weakness

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Security researchers have warned about this weakness for years. Anchorage Daily News, 19 July 2021 Security researchers have warned about this weakness for years. Washington Post, 19 July 2021 Their defense, widely considered a weakness at the start of the season, is among the league’s best. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 July 2021 Shorter-term measures, however, tell a different story though and suggest weakness in the coming months. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, 14 July 2021 White Christians' numbers declining Behind this weakness for ungrounded political fantasy is an implacable demographic reality: White Christians have been relentlessly declining as a share of America's population. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, 13 July 2021 Conversely, classical portrayals of defeated or dying men sometimes used nudity to underscore their subjects’ weakness. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 July 2021 The complaints from hawks like McConnell, Cheney, and Bolton only show the weakness of their position. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 12 July 2021 This is likely to improve the wealth management revenues in the subsequent year, partially offsetting the weakness in other segments. Trefis Team, Forbes, 7 July 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of weakness

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About weakness

Time Traveler for weakness

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near weakness

weak neck



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for weakness

Last Updated

21 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Weakness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weakness. Accessed 2 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for weakness



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on weakness

Nglish: Translation of weakness for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of weakness for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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