Weak
Weak Weak (w[=e]k), a. [Compar. {Weaker} (w[=e]k"[~e]r); superl. {Weakest}.] [OE. weik, Icel. veikr; akin to Sw. vek, Dan. veg soft, flexible, pliant, AS. w[=a]c weak, soft, pliant, D. week, G. weich, OHG. weih; all from the verb seen in Icel. v[=i]kja to turn, veer, recede, AS. w[=i]can to yield, give way, G. weichen, OHG. w[=i]hhan, akin to Skr. vij, and probably to E. week, L. vicis a change, turn, Gr. e'i`kein to yield, give way. [root]132. Cf. {Week}, {Wink}, v. i. {Vicissitude}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Wanting physical strength. Specifically: [1913 Webster] (a) Deficient in strength of body; feeble; infirm; sickly; debilitated; enfeebled; exhausted. [1913 Webster]

A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Weak with hunger, mad with love. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] (b) Not able to sustain a great weight, pressure, or strain; as, a weak timber; a weak rope. [1913 Webster] (c) Not firmly united or adhesive; easily broken or separated into pieces; not compact; as, a weak ship. [1913 Webster] (d) Not stiff; pliant; frail; soft; as, the weak stalk of a plant. [1913 Webster] (e) Not able to resist external force or onset; easily subdued or overcome; as, a weak barrier; as, a weak fortress. [1913 Webster] (f) Lacking force of utterance or sound; not sonorous; low; small; feeble; faint. [1913 Webster]

A voice not soft, weak, piping, and womanish. --Ascham. [1913 Webster] (g) Not thoroughly or abundantly impregnated with the usual or required ingredients, or with stimulating and nourishing substances; of less than the usual strength; as, weak tea, broth, or liquor; a weak decoction or solution; a weak dose of medicine. [1913 Webster] (h) Lacking ability for an appropriate function or office; as, weak eyes; a weak stomach; a weak magistrate; a weak regiment, or army. [1913 Webster]

2. Not possessing or manifesting intellectual, logical, moral, or political strength, vigor, etc. Specifically: [1913 Webster] (a) Feeble of mind; wanting discernment; lacking vigor; spiritless; as, a weak king or magistrate. [1913 Webster]

To think every thing disputable is a proof of a weak mind and captious temper. --Beattie. [1913 Webster]

Origen was never weak enough to imagine that there were two Gods. --Waterland. [1913 Webster] (b) Resulting from, or indicating, lack of judgment, discernment, or firmness; unwise; hence, foolish. [1913 Webster]

If evil thence ensue, She first his weak indulgence will accuse. --Milton. [1913 Webster] (c) Not having full confidence or conviction; not decided or confirmed; vacillating; wavering. [1913 Webster]

Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. --Rom. xiv. 1. [1913 Webster] (d) Not able to withstand temptation, urgency, persuasion, etc.; easily impressed, moved, or overcome; accessible; vulnerable; as, weak resolutions; weak virtue. [1913 Webster]

Guard thy heart On this weak side, where most our nature fails. --Addison. [1913 Webster] (e) Wanting in power to influence or bind; as, weak ties; a weak sense of honor of duty. [1913 Webster] (f) Not having power to convince; not supported by force of reason or truth; unsustained; as, a weak argument or case. ``Convinced of his weak arguing.'' --Milton. [1913 Webster]

A case so weak . . . hath much persisted in. --Hooker. [1913 Webster] (g) Wanting in point or vigor of expression; as, a weak sentence; a weak style. [1913 Webster] (h) Not prevalent or effective, or not felt to be prevalent; not potent; feeble. ``Weak prayers.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster] (i) Lacking in elements of political strength; not wielding or having authority or energy; deficient in the resources that are essential to a ruler or nation; as, a weak monarch; a weak government or state. [1913 Webster]

I must make fair weather yet awhile, Till Henry be more weak, and I more strong. --Shak. [1913 Webster] (k) (Stock Exchange) Tending towards lower prices; as, a weak market. [1913 Webster]

3. (Gram.) (a) Pertaining to, or designating, a verb which forms its preterit (imperfect) and past participle by adding to the present the suffix -ed, -d, or the variant form -t; as in the verbs abash, abashed; abate, abated; deny, denied; feel, felt. See {Strong}, 19 (a) . (b) Pertaining to, or designating, a noun in Anglo-Saxon, etc., the stem of which ends in -n. See {Strong}, 19 (b) . [1913 Webster]

4. (Stock Exchange) Tending toward a lower price or lower prices; as, wheat is weak; a weak market. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

5. (Card Playing) Lacking in good cards; deficient as to number or strength; as, a hand weak in trumps. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

6. (Photog.) Lacking contrast; as, a weak negative. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

Note: Weak is often used in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, weak-eyed, weak-handed, weak-hearted, weak-minded, weak-spirited, and the like. [1913 Webster]

{Weak conjugation} (Gram.), the conjugation of weak verbs; -- called also {new conjugation}, or {regular conjugation}, and distinguished from the {old conjugation}, or {irregular conjugation}.

{Weak declension} (Anglo-Saxon Gram.), the declension of weak nouns; also, one of the declensions of adjectives.

{Weak side}, the side or aspect of a person's character or disposition by which he is most easily affected or influenced; weakness; infirmity.

{weak sore} or {weak ulcer} (Med.), a sore covered with pale, flabby, sluggish granulations. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • weak — W2S3 [wi:k] adj ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(physical)¦ 2¦(likely to break)¦ 3¦(character)¦ 4¦(without power)¦ 5¦(without interest)¦ 6¦(without energy)¦ 7¦(not good at doing something)¦ 8¦(money)¦ 9¦(argument/idea)¦ 10¦(drink)¦ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • weak — [ wik ] adjective *** ▸ 1 lacking energy ▸ 2 lacking power ▸ 3 easily persuaded ▸ 4 bad in quality ▸ 5 likely to break/fail ▸ 6 with a lot of water ▸ 7 lacking strength ▸ 8 in linguistics 1. ) part of your body that is weak is not as strong or… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • weak — [wiːk] adjective FINANCE 1. if markets, investments, currencies etc are weak, their prices are falling: • The company reported a loss of C$16 million, mostly because of weak metals prices. • The weak dollar has ma …   Financial and business terms

  • weak — [wēk] adj. [ME waik < ON veikr, akin to OE wac, feeble (which the ON word replaced) < IE * weig , * weik (< base * wei , to bend) > WEEK, WICKER, L vicis, change] 1. a) lacking in strength of body or muscle; not physically strong b)… …   English World dictionary

  • weak — weak·en; weak·en·er; weak; weak·ish; weak·li·ness; weak·ness; elec·tro·weak; weak·ling; weak·ly; weak·head·ed·ly; weak·head·ed·ness; weak·heart·ed·ly; weak·heart·ed·ness; weak·ish·ly; weak·ish·ness; weak·kneed·ly; weak·kneed·ness; …   English syllables

  • weak — weak, feeble, frail, fragile, infirm, decrepit can mean not strong enough to bear, resist, or endure strain or pressure or to withstand difficulty, effort, or use. Weak is by far the widest in its range of application, being not only… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Weak — is a generic adjective pertaining to a general state of feebleness, a lack of strength, durability, or vigor. Contents 1 Music 2 Other 3 See also …   Wikipedia

  • weak — [adj1] not strong anemic, debilitated, decrepit, delicate, effete, enervated, exhausted, faint, feeble, flaccid, flimsy, forceless, fragile, frail, hesitant, impuissant, infirm, insubstantial, irresolute, lackadaisical*, languid, languorous, limp …   New thesaurus

  • weak — c.1300, from O.N. veikr weak, cognate with O.E. wac weak, pliant, soft, from P.Gmc. *waikwaz yield, *wikanan bend (Cf. O.S. wek, Swed. vek, M.Du. weec, Du. week weak, soft, tender, O.H.G. weih …   Etymology dictionary

  • Weak — Weak, v. t. & i. [Cf. AS. w?can. w[=a]cian. See {Weak}, a.] To make or become weak; to weaken. [R.] [1913 Webster] Never to seek weaking variety. Marston. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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