Definition of feeble in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfiːb(ə)l/

adjective (feebler, feeblest)

1Lacking physical strength, especially as a result of age or illness: by now, he was too feeble to leave his room
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.
weak, weakly, weakened, puny, wasted, frail, infirm, delicate, sickly, ailing, unwell, poorly, failing, helpless, powerless, impotent, enfeebled, enervated, debilitated, incapacitated, effete;
decrepit, doddering, doddery, tottering, tottery, shaky, trembling, trembly;
Scottish  shilpit
rare etiolated
1.1(Of a sound) faint: her feeble cries of pain
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.
faint, dim, weak, pale, soft, subdued, muted, indistinct, unclear, vague
informal wishy-washy
1.2Lacking strength of character: I know it’s feeble but I’ve never been one to stand up for myself
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.
cowardly, craven, faint-hearted, spineless, spiritless, lily-livered, chicken-livered, pigeon-hearted;
timid, timorous, fearful, unassertive, soft, weak, ineffective, ineffectual, inefficient, incompetent, inadequate, indecisive
informal wishy-washy, wimpy, sissy, sissified, gutless, weak-kneed, yellow, yellow-bellied, chicken
British informal wet
North American informal candy-assed
North American vulgar slang chickenshit
archaic poor-spirited
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.
ineffective, ineffectual, unsuccessful, inadequate, unconvincing, implausible, unsatisfactory, poor, weak, inept, tame, paltry, shallow, thin, flimsy, insubstantial;
futile, useless, profitless, fruitless



Pronunciation: /ˈfiːb(ə)lnəs/
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.


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

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

Words that rhyme with feeble

enfeeble, Keble

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fee¦ble

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