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

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 Carmakers are under especially intense pressure in the United Kingdom and India, where economic weakness has reduced demand for new cars and dented production. Charles Riley, CNN, "The car industry's electric upheaval claims another 10,000 jobs," 29 Nov. 2019 Chinese emperors seem to have had a particular weakness for nest-eating and today the dish retains the aura of an imperial delicacy. 1843, "My quest to understand the appeal of bird’s nest soup," 22 Nov. 2019 To demonstrate the risk, Checkmarx developed a proof-of-concept rogue app that exploited the weakness. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Google & Samsung fix Android spying flaw. Other makers may still be vulnerable," 19 Nov. 2019 That's the weakness in his game when his shot isn't falling. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Losing Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. McConnell, Pacers struggle in loss to Bucks," 16 Nov. 2019 Louisville’s biggest weakness has been its pass defense, ranked 104th nationally. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Why converting in the red zone is one key to Louisville football defeating NC State," 14 Nov. 2019 From childhood, young gymnasts were told to never cry, never show weakness. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "‘At the Heart of Gold’: Larry Nassar scandal documentary will make you rage," 6 Nov. 2019 Low inflation can be a sign of economic weakness and has been a concern for officials at the ECB, whose goal is to have inflation of just under 2%. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Eurozone inflation drops, underlining case for stimulus," 1 Oct. 2019 The one offensive weakness for UAB two games into the season has been the absence of its usual dominant rushing game. Evan Dudley, al, "Position-by-position breakdown for UAB’s matchup with South Alabama," 18 Sep. 2019

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

Statistics for weakness

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Weakness.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weakness?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=w&file=weakne01. Accessed 6 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on weakness

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


very cautious or careful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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