weak
adjective Etymology: Middle English weike, from Old Norse veikr; akin to Old English wīcan to yield, Greek eikein to give way, Sanskrit vijate he speeds, flees Date: 14th century 1. lacking strength: as a. deficient in physical vigor ; feeble, debilitated b. not able to sustain or exert much weight, pressure, or strain c. not able to resist external force or withstand attack d. easily upset or nauseated <
a weak stomach
>
2. a. mentally or intellectually deficient b. not firmly decided ; vacillating c. resulting from or indicating lack of judgment or discernment d. not able to withstand temptation or persuasion <
the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
>
3. not factually grounded or logically presented <
a weak argument
>
4. a. not able to function properly <
weak eyes
>
b. (1) lacking skill or proficiency <
tutoring for weaker students
>
(2) indicative of a lack of skill or aptitude <
history was my weakest subject
>
c. wanting in vigor of expression or effect <
a weak translation of the poem
>
5. a. deficient in the usual or required ingredients ; dilute <
weak coffee
>
b. lacking normal intensity or potency <
a weak radio signal
>
<
a weak strain of virus
>
6. a. not having or exerting authority or political power <
weak government
>
b. ineffective, impotent 7. of, relating to, or constituting a verb or verb conjugation that in English forms the past tense and past participle by adding the suffix -ed or -d or -t 8. a. bearing the minimal degree of stress occurring in the language <
a weak syllable
>
b. having little or no stress and obscured vowel sound <
'd in he'd is the weak form of would
>
9. tending toward a lower price or value <
a weak market
>
<
a weak dollar
>
10. ionizing only slightly in solution <
weak acids and bases
>
weakly adverb Synonyms: weak, feeble, frail, fragile, infirm, decrepit mean not strong enough to endure strain, pressure, or strenuous effort. weak applies to deficiency or inferiority in strength or power of any sort <
felt weak after the surgery
>
. feeble suggests extreme weakness inviting pity or contempt <
a feeble attempt to walk
>
. frail implies delicacy and slightness of constitution or structure <
a frail teenager unable to enjoy sports
>
. fragile suggests frailty and brittleness unable to resist rough usage <
a reclusive poet too fragile for the rigors of this world
>
. infirm suggests instability, unsoundness, and insecurity due to old age or crippling illness <
infirm residents requiring constant care
>
. decrepit implies being worn-out or broken-down from long use or old age <
the dowager's decrepit retainers
>
.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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