frail frail, a. [Compar. {frailer} (fr[=a]l"[~e]r); superl. {frailest}.] [OE. frele, freile, OF. fraile, frele, F. fr[^e]le, fr. L. fragilis. See {Fragile}.] 1. Easily broken; fragile; not firm or durable; liable to fail and perish; easily destroyed; not tenacious of life; weak; infirm. [1913 Webster]

That I may know how frail I am. --Ps. xxxix. 4. [1913 Webster]

An old bent man, worn and frail. --Lowell. [1913 Webster]

2. Tender. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Deep indignation and compassion frail. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

3. Liable to fall from virtue or be led into sin; not strong against temptation; weak in resolution; also, unchaste; -- often applied to fallen women. [1913 Webster]

Man is frail, and prone to evil. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • frail — [freıl] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: fraile, from Latin fragilis, from frangere to break ] 1.) someone who is frail is weak and thin because they are old or ill ▪ frail elderly people ▪ her frail health frail body/physique… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • frail — [ freıl ] adjective * 1. ) physically weak and not very healthy: He is frail, but still manages to walk with a cane. 2. ) not strong and therefore likely to be damaged or destroyed: a garden with a frail wooden fence around it attempts to rebuild …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • frail — frail·ly; frail·ness; frail·ty; frail; …   English syllables

  • frail — (fr[=a]l), n. [OE. fraiel, fraile, OF. fraiel, freel, frael, fr. LL. fraellum.] A basket made of rushes, used chiefly for containing figs and raisins. [1913 Webster] 2. The quantity of raisins about thirty two, fifty six, or seventy five pounds,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • frail — (adj.) mid 14c., morally weak, from O.Fr. fraile weak, frail, sickly, infirm (Mod.Fr. frêle), from L. fragilis easily broken (see FRAGILITY (Cf. fragility)). Sense of liable to break is first recorded in English late 14c. The U.S. slang noun… …   Etymology dictionary

  • frail — index imperfect, insecure, insubstantial, nonsubstantial (not sturdy), powerless Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • frail — fragile, *weak, feeble, infirm, decrepit Analogous words: slight, slender, tenuous, *thin, slim: puny, *petty: flimsy, sleazy (see LIMP): *powerless, impotent Antonyms: robust Contrasted words: * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • frail — [adj] breakable, weak brittle, dainty, decrepit, delicate, feeble, fishy, flimsy, fracturable, fragile, frangible, infirm, insubstantial, puny, sad, shatterable, shattery, sickly, slender, slight, slim, tender, tenuous, thin, unsound,… …   New thesaurus

  • frail — ► ADJECTIVE 1) weak and delicate. 2) easily damaged or broken. DERIVATIVES frailly adverb frailness noun. ORIGIN Old French fraile, from Latin fragilis fragile …   English terms dictionary

  • frail — frail1 [frāl] adj. [ME frele < OFr < L fragilis, FRAGILE] 1. easily broken, shattered, damaged, or destroyed; fragile; delicate 2. slender and delicate; not robust; weak 3. easily tempted to do wrong; morally weak SYN. WEAK frailly adv.… …   English World dictionary

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