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

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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

In August, insurgents overran large parts of the provincial capital, leading to four days of fighting that again exposed the weaknesses of the Afghan security forces in coordinating their operations and repelling insurgent threats. Ehsanullah Amiri, WSJ, "Three Americans Killed in Roadside Bombing in Afghanistan," 27 Nov. 2018 Most of Russia's attacks focused on putting crosses into the box - a noted weakness of Egypt's defence - towards target man Dzyuba, in from the start this time after an impressive performance off the bench against Saudi Arabia. SI.com, "Russia 3-1 Egypt: Pharaohs All But Out Despite Salah's Return as Hosts Put One Foot in Last 16," 19 June 2018 Among the many weaknesses of the Texas claim pointed out by legal experts and the intervening states, the tax cut bill didn’t actually kill the individual mandate. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Trump's DOJ labels the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, placing healthcare for 133 million at risk," 8 June 2018 The weakness tends to get worse over time, leading to the formation of a bulge that may leak blood or even rupture. Korin Miller, SELF, "'Game of Thrones' Star Emilia Clarke Reveals She Survived 2 Aneurysms," 22 Mar. 2019 The problem appears to be that running Steemit cost real money, rather than crypto tokens: Steemit said the move is a result of the weakness of the cryptocurrency market. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Dueling employee petitions have revealed a deep divide within Google over China," 29 Nov. 2018 The supply-chain attacks show one of the weaknesses of open source code. Because of its openness and the lack of funds of many of its hobbyist developers and users, open source code can be subject to malicious modifications that often escape notice. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Widely used open source software contained bitcoin-stealing backdoor," 26 Nov. 2018 But for the smaller nations of Eastern Europe, the relative strength of the world’s most powerful military alliance, and the relative weakness of Russia, looks pretty obvious. Simon Shuster/tallinn, Time, "Trump Shakes Up NATO, but Eastern European Allies Aren't Stirred," 13 July 2018 Another one — which Voloshin participated in — tried using electrical stimulation for muscles to counteract the weakness that develops. Elizabeth Howell, Space.com, "Touring Where the Mars-500 'Astronauts' Pretended to Take a Red Planet Journey," 11 July 2018

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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Statistics for weakness

Last Updated

20 May 2019

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Time Traveler for weakness

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

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on weakness

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for weakness

Spanish Central: Translation of weakness

Nglish: Translation of weakness for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of weakness for Arabic Speakers

Comments on weakness

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