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

Teachers may see some weaknesses that parents don’t see. Braden Bell, Washington Post, "Eight things for parents to keep in mind when dealing with school discipline issues," 6 Sep. 2019 It will be closely watched for signs that global manufacturing weakness is spilling over into the US services sector. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Today in markets: Trade relief, and the lowest interest rates in 5,000 years," 5 Sep. 2019 Washington found some success on such throws during last year’s season opener and Alabama feasted on this weakness during the second half of last year’s Iron Bowl. oregonlive, "How Oregon’s offense got enticed into throwing on RPOs, not taking as many deep throws as hoped against Auburn," 4 Sep. 2019 Sharmaine Moseley, the board’s executive director, told the Union-Tribune last year that her group’s members recognized a lack of transparency as one of the board’s biggest weaknesses. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego’s police oversight board seeks more transparency," 3 Sep. 2019 China paid back American gullibility with utter contempt as the proper wage of its naïveté and perceived moral weakness. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Israel’s Good and Bad New Realities," 3 Sep. 2019 The offensive line is the biggest weakness on this team, and the Vikings drafted center Garrett Bradbury in the first round to help fix it. Max Meyer, SI.com, "NFC Teams That Are Best Bets to Go Over Their Win Total," 2 Sep. 2019 Virus initial symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, muscle aches, weakness and rash. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Two first cases of human West Nile Virus in Weld County confirmed this season," 30 Aug. 2019 This means many companies haven’t yet felt the pain of the latest bout of pound weakness this summer. Los Angeles Times, "As Britain staggers toward Brexit, the pound’s wild ride creates winners and losers," 29 Aug. 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.

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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

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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


to make a temporary encampment

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