Definition of frail in English:


Line breaks: frail
Pronunciation: /freɪl


  • 1(Of a person) weak and delicate: his small, frail body she looked frail and vulnerable
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    • 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.
    infirm, weak, weakened, feeble, enfeebled, debilitated, incapacitated, crippled, wasted; delicate, slight, slender, puny; ill, ailing, unwell, sickly, poorly, in poor health; decrepit, doddering, tottering, shaky
    informal weedy
  • 1.1Easily damaged or broken; weak: the balcony is frail the country’s frail economy
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    • 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 broken, easily damaged, delicate, flimsy, insubstantial; unsteady, unstable, rickety, ramshackle
    informal teetery, jerry-built
    British informal wonky, dicky, dodgy
    rare frangible
  • 1.2 archaic Weak 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.
    weak, easily led/tempted, susceptible, impressionable, malleable, vulnerable, defenceless, impotent; fallible, errant, erring, flawed, imperfect
    rare resistless


US informal , • dated Back to top  
  • A woman.
    More example sentences
    • Cosmetic manufacturers will never go out of business because the frails will always want to look like portraits of the women they believe we dream about.



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).

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