1 : capable of being physically or emotionally wounded
2 : open to attack or damage : assailable
Did You Know?
Vulnerable is ultimately derived from the Latin noun vulnus ("wound"). Vulnus led to the Latin verb vulnerare, meaning "to wound," and then to the Late Latin adjective vulnerabilis, which became vulnerable in English in the early 1600s. Vulnerable originally meant "capable of being physically wounded" or "having the power to wound" (the latter is now obsolete), but since the late 1600s, it has also been used figuratively to suggest a defenselessness against non-physical attacks. In other words, someone (or something) can be vulnerable to criticism or failure as well as to literal wounding. When it is used figuratively, vulnerable is often followed by the preposition to.
The article reminds readers to install the latest antivirus software on their computers so that they will not be vulnerable to malware and viruses.
"Updated flood maps would give property owners an accurate picture of how vulnerable their property is to flooding and would help them take the appropriate measures to prepare for future storms." — Steve Ellis, Asbury Park (New Jersey) Press, 15 Mar. 2018
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Fill in the blanks to complete a noun that is used figuratively to refer to the most vital or vulnerable part of something: _ _ gu _ ar.VIEW THE ANSWER
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