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vulnerable Line breaks: vul¦ner|able
Pronunciation: /ˈvʌln(ə)rəb(ə)l/

Definition of vulnerable in English:


1Exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally: we were in a vulnerable position small fish are vulnerable to predators
More example sentences
  • There is an issue as to the extent to which he remains vulnerable to drug abuse and self harm.
  • The economy is vulnerable to a rise in the euro exchange rate or in interest rates.
  • The inmates say the new prisons leave them isolated and vulnerable to abuse by guards.
in danger, in peril, in jeopardy, at risk, endangered, unsafe, unprotected, ill-protected, unguarded;
open to attack, attackable, assailable, exposed, wide open;
undefended, unshielded, unfortified, unarmed, without arms, without weapons, defenceless, easily hurt/wounded/damaged, powerless, helpless
exposed to, open to, wide open to, liable to, prone to, prey to, susceptible to, subject to, not above, in danger of, at risk of, at the mercy of, an easy target for, easily affected by;
in the firing line
rare susceptive of
1.1(Of a person) in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect: the scheme will help charities working with vulnerable adults and young people
More example sentences
  • Inner city programs are designed to give our most vulnerable children an opportunity to succeed.
  • The government says it is committed to protecting vulnerable adults, but its actions suggest otherwise.
  • This forum is the main point of contact for those working with vulnerable adults.
1.2 Bridge (Of a partnership) liable to higher penalties, either by convention or through having won one game towards a rubber: the authors advise a variable no-trump opening bid which means weak non-vulnerable and strong vulnerable
More example sentences
  • A side which has already won one game towards the current rubber is said to be vulnerable.


Early 17th century: from late Latin vulnerabilis, from Latin vulnerare 'to wound', from vulnus 'wound'.

  • This comes from late Latin vulnerabilis, from vulnus ‘wound’. The word appeared later than its opposite invulnerable which is late 16th century.



Pronunciation: /vʌln(ə)rəˈbɪlɪti/
noun (plural vulnerabilities)
Example sentences
  • I felt she had the right degree of vulnerability and really conveyed that torture of being in forbidden love.
  • Every cultural message appears to emphasise human vulnerability rather than resilience.
  • He said he had worked in the field of mental health recovery and was keenly aware of a patient's vulnerability.


Pronunciation: /ˈvʌln(ə)rəblnəs/
Example sentences
  • Someone who isn't afraid to express her true feelings and communicate openly at the risk of exposing her vulnerableness.
  • The emotions that the sculpture evokes are fear and vulnerableness.
  • The nuts, on the leading screw pair in the feeder have a long service life because they are made of tin bronze to avoid vulnerableness.


Example sentences
  • The figures stand vulnerably palms out - ready for contact with the viewer.
  • It's a powerfully refreshing and vulnerably human moment.
  • They seem lost in their memories and frequently look pained by time and the twentieth century: troubled by roads and ceaseless changes; made vulnerably quaint.

Definition of vulnerable in:

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