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feeble

Syllabification: fee·ble
Pronunciation: /ˈfēbəl
 
/

Definition of feeble in English:

adjective (feebler, feeblest)

1Lacking physical strength, especially as a result of age or illness: my legs are very feeble after the flu
More example sentences
  • Protagonists are helpless and feeble, benighted, physically weak and powerless.
  • Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one?
  • Eighty-year-old Lucy is a small feeble woman, but what she lacks in physical strength, she makes up for in character.
Synonyms
weak, weakly, weakened, frail, infirm, delicate, sickly, ailing, unwell, poorly, enfeebled, enervated, debilitated, incapacitated, decrepit, etiolated
1.1(Of a sound) faint: his voice sounded feeble and far away
More example sentences
  • A little head peeped out of the broken egg, making a feeble sound.
  • There was a distinct amount of light filtering around the blinds and, through the window, the first feeble sounds of the dawn chorus.
  • The computer beeped and then made a feeble sound.
Synonyms
faint, dim, weak, pale, soft, subdued, muted
1.2Lacking strength of character: she overreacted in such a feeble, juvenile way
More example sentences
  • Worse than the comedy, however, are the director's feeble attempts at character building.
  • Until recently, the concern had been that the recovery in the euro zone was so pallid and feeble that the big euro zone economies could not take a rate increase.
  • To do so is a common but intellectually feeble move, itself a defence against uncomfortable reality.
Synonyms
timid, timorous, fearful, unassertive, weak, ineffectual, wishy-washy
informal wimpy, sissy, sissified, gutless, chicken
1.3Failing to convince or impress: a feeble excuse
More example sentences
  • It always sounds so pathetic when you refer to it, like some sort of feeble attempt to impress.
  • I could tell you that I only cry when I'm very sad or hurt, but those are feeble excuses, inadequate reasons for condoning my shameful crime.
  • And there always seems to be some feeble excuse or other in an attempt to defend their illicit actions, rather than admitting that most of them are just downright bad.
Synonyms
ineffective, ineffectual, inadequate, unconvincing, implausible, unsatisfactory, poor, weak, flimsy

Origin

Middle English: from Old French fieble, earlier fleible, from Latin flebilis 'lamentable', from flere 'weep'.

More
  • This word is from Old French fieble, which was earlier spelt fleible, from Latin flebilis ‘lamentable’ from flere ‘to weep’.

Derivatives

feebleness

1
noun
Example sentences
  • The more important point, however, is that (to me at least) one of the measures of national power and greatness is the ability to suffer the insecurities and feebleness of weaker powers with a measure of grace.
  • I detected a certain feebleness of insight in these pieces.
  • And, as always, our spirits rose after initial feebleness.

Words that rhyme with feeble

enfeeble, Keble

Definition of feeble in:

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