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 Then Duffy had to implement her system and figure out the strengths and weaknesses of her new players. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marquette's first-year women's coach exceeded expectations. Now she's trying to keep the ball bouncing.," 6 May 2020 Tariq thrived on a good fight, weaving in and out like a boxer, assessing his opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. Shaheen Pasha, Longreads, "Following the North Star," 1 May 2020 Every enterprise learns its strengths and weaknesses from an Aisin-fire moment—from a disaster that spirals out of control. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, "What the Coronavirus Crisis Reveals About American Medicine," 27 Apr. 2020 But understanding the strengths and weaknesses of data feels particularly important right now. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "Three key concepts for interpreting data in the age of coronavirus," 25 Apr. 2020 The pandemic has exposed the strengths and weaknesses of just about every society, Moïsi noted. Katrin Bennhold, BostonGlobe.com, "As crisis rages, Europeans react to US role with sadness, disbelief," 23 Apr. 2020 Embarrassingly, people in health care have often seen calling in sick as a sign of weakness. Atul Gawande, The New Yorker, "Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, a Regimen for Reëntry," 13 May 2020 For example, if a student gets a low score on a portion of a standardized test, the teacher might focus on that area of weakness to better meet the needs of that student through individualized or small group instruction. James D. Kirylo, The Conversation, "Skipping standardized tests in 2020 may offer a chance to find better alternatives," 6 May 2020 From Biden’s perspective, letting himself be bullied into giving the job to someone who has never held an office higher than the state legislature would be a disastrous projection of weakness. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "Why Joe Biden Might Choose Terri Sewell for Vice President," 23 Apr. 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

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Weakness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weakness. Accessed 3 Jun. 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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