Definition of frail in English:


Syllabification: frail
Pronunciation: /frāl


  • 1(Of a person) weak and delicate: a frail voice she looked frail and vulnerable
    More example sentences
    • During the day the bus takes vulnerable and frail people on shopping trips and outings.
    • We are bombarded with images of elderly people being frail and sickly.
    • He was desperately frail, too weak to move his limbs but still strong enough to let out that cry which tears at every human heart.
    weak, delicate, feeble, enfeebled, debilitated; infirm, ill, ailing, unwell, sickly, poorly, in poor health
  • 1.1Easily damaged or broken; fragile or insubstantial: the balcony is frail the frail Russian economy
    More example sentences
    • Reviewers and critics frequently refuse to be honest about Australian movies because they believe this will damage the frail home industry.
    • With the numerous difficulties the country is experiencing due to the frail economy, Zambia has depended on such close allies to surmount her difficulties.
    • Markets will continue to wait for war and, in the process, further slow down an already frail economy.
    fragile, breakable, easily damaged, delicate, flimsy, insubstantial, unsteady, unstable, rickety
    formal frangible
  • 1.2Weak in character or morals.
    More example sentences
    • If you use it then you will likely to be perceived as brave or the opposite of coward or frail.
    • That's what public relations propaganda is all about - conning frail, vain humans.
    • People are frail and make stupid mistakes and one kiss in a bar is not the end of the world, especially when she feels so bad about it.



Pronunciation: /ˈfrā(l)lē/
More example sentences
  • That was the question wavering frailly on my mind as I slid down the back of the wall and broke out in uncontrollable sobs.
  • Occasionally I came upon a precocious spray of Dutchman's breeches, or wild bleedingheart, hung frailly with delicately transparent shell-like blossoms.
  • Throughout his triumphs and scandals, and everything in between, he comes across as completely genuine and frailly human.


More example sentences
  • To those who met him from at least the 1960s onward, he already appeared a frail individual, but his frailness belied his determination and toughness.
  • Amara studied the woman, her ancient yet wise face, the frailness of her limbs contradicting the underlying strength embedded in them.
  • Taking a deep breath, he began, the frailness of his voice alarming him.


Middle English: from Old French fraile, from Latin fragilis (see fragile).

More definitions of frail

Definition of frail in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tortie
Pronunciation: ˈtɔːtiː
a tortoiseshell cat