foible

Synonym Chooser

How does the noun foible differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of foible are failing, fault, frailty, and vice. While all these words mean "an imperfection or weakness of character," foible applies to a harmless or endearing weakness or idiosyncrasy.

an eccentric's charming foibles

When could failing be used to replace foible?

While in some cases nearly identical to foible, failing suggests a minor shortcoming in character.

being late is a failing of mine

When can fault be used instead of foible?

The words fault and foible can be used in similar contexts, but fault implies a failure, not necessarily culpable, to reach some standard of perfection in disposition, action, or habit.

a writer of many virtues and few faults

Where would frailty be a reasonable alternative to foible?

The words frailty and foible are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, frailty implies a general or chronic proneness to yield to temptation.

human frailties

In what contexts can vice take the place of foible?

Although the words vice and foible have much in common, vice can be a general term for any imperfection or weakness, but it often suggests violation of a moral code or the giving of offense to the moral sensibilities of others.

compulsive gambling was his vice

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Cite this Entry

“Foible.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/foible. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

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