infirm

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective infirm contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of infirm are decrepit, feeble, fragile, frail, and weak. While all these words mean "not strong enough to endure strain, pressure, or strenuous effort," infirm suggests instability, unsoundness, and insecurity due to old age or crippling illness.

infirm residents requiring constant care

When would decrepit be a good substitute for infirm?

While the synonyms decrepit and infirm are close in meaning, decrepit implies being worn-out or broken-down from long use or old age.

the dowager's decrepit retainers

In what contexts can feeble take the place of infirm?

Although the words feeble and infirm have much in common, feeble suggests extreme weakness inviting pity or contempt.

a feeble attempt to walk

When could fragile be used to replace infirm?

The synonyms fragile and infirm are sometimes interchangeable, but fragile suggests frailty and brittleness unable to resist rough usage.

a reclusive poet too fragile for the rigors of this world

When is it sensible to use frail instead of infirm?

The words frail and infirm are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, frail implies delicacy and slightness of constitution or structure.

a frail teenager unable to enjoy sports

When can weak be used instead of infirm?

The meanings of weak and infirm largely overlap; however, weak applies to deficiency or inferiority in strength or power of any sort.

felt weak after the surgery

Thesaurus Entries Near infirm

Cite this Entry

“Infirm.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/infirm. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

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