[syn: faint, weak]
11. likely to fail under stress or pressure;
- Example: "the weak link in the chain"
12. deficient in intelligence or mental power;
- Example: "a weak mind"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Weak \Weak\ (w[=e]k), a. [Compar. Weaker (w[=e]k"[~e]r);
superl. Weakest.] [OE. weik, Icel. veikr; akin to Sw. vek,
Dan. veg soft, flexible, pliant, AS. w[=a]c weak, soft,
pliant, D. week, G. weich, OHG. weih; all from the verb seen
in Icel. v[imac]kja to turn, veer, recede, AS. w[imac]can to
yield, give way, G. weichen, OHG. w[imac]hhan, akin to Skr.
vij, and probably to E. week, L. vicis a change, turn, Gr.
e'i`kein to yield, give way. [root]132. Cf. Week, Wink,
v. i. Vicissitude.]
1. Wanting physical strength. Specifically:
(a) Deficient in strength of body; feeble; infirm; sickly;
debilitated; enfeebled; exhausted.
A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man.
Weak with hunger, mad with love. --Dryden.
(b) Not able to sustain a great weight, pressure, or
strain; as, a weak timber; a weak rope.
(c) Not firmly united or adhesive; easily broken or
separated into pieces; not compact; as, a weak ship.
(d) Not stiff; pliant; frail; soft; as, the weak stalk of
(e) Not able to resist external force or onset; easily
subdued or overcome; as, a weak barrier; as, a weak
(f) Lacking force of utterance or sound; not sonorous;
low; small; feeble; faint.
A voice not soft, weak, piping, and womanish.
(g) Not thoroughly or abundantly impregnated with the
usual or required ingredients, or with stimulating and
nourishing substances; of less than the usual
strength; as, weak tea, broth, or liquor; a weak
decoction or solution; a weak dose of medicine.
(h) Lacking ability for an appropriate function or office;
as, weak eyes; a weak stomach; a weak magistrate; a
weak regiment, or army.
2. Not possessing or manifesting intellectual, logical,
moral, or political strength, vigor, etc. Specifically:
(a) Feeble of mind; wanting discernment; lacking vigor;
spiritless; as, a weak king or magistrate.
To think every thing disputable is a proof of a
weak mind and captious temper. --Beattie.
Origen was never weak enough to imagine that
there were two Gods. --Waterland.
(b) Resulting from, or indicating, lack of judgment,
discernment, or firmness; unwise; hence, foolish.
If evil thence ensue,
She first his weak indulgence will accuse.
(c) Not having full confidence or conviction; not decided
or confirmed; vacillating; wavering.
Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but
not to doubtful disputations. --Rom. xiv. 1.
(d) Not able to withstand temptation, urgency, persuasion,
etc.; easily impressed, moved, or overcome;
accessible; vulnerable; as, weak resolutions; weak
Guard thy heart
On this weak side, where most our nature fails.
(e) Wanting in power to influence or bind; as, weak ties;
a weak sense of honor of duty.
(f) Not having power to convince; not supported by force
of reason or truth; unsustained; as, a weak argument
or case. "Convinced of his weak arguing." --Milton.
A case so weak . . . hath much persisted in.
(g) Wanting in point or vigor of expression; as, a weak
sentence; a weak style.
(h) Not prevalent or effective, or not felt to be
prevalent; not potent; feeble. "Weak prayers." --Shak.
(i) Lacking in elements of political strength; not
wielding or having authority or energy; deficient in
the resources that are essential to a ruler or nation;
as, a weak monarch; a weak government or state.
I must make fair weather yet awhile,
Till Henry be more weak, and I more strong.
(k) (Stock Exchange) Tending towards lower prices; as, a
(a) Pertaining to, or designating, a verb which forms its
preterit (imperfect) and past participle by adding to
the present the suffix -ed, -d, or the variant form
-t; as in the verbs abash, abashed; abate, abated;
deny, denied; feel, felt. See Strong, 19
(b) Pertaining to, or designating, a noun in Anglo-Saxon,
etc., the stem of which ends in -n. See Strong, 19
4. (Stock Exchange) Tending toward a lower price or lower
prices; as, wheat is weak; a weak market.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
5. (Card Playing) Lacking in good cards; deficient as to
number or strength; as, a hand weak in trumps.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
6. (Photog.) Lacking contrast; as, a weak negative.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
Note: Weak is often used in the formation of self-explaining
compounds; as, weak-eyed, weak-handed, weak-hearted,
weak-minded, weak-spirited, and the like.
Weak conjugation (Gram.), the conjugation of weak verbs; --
called also new conjugation, or regular conjugation,
and distinguished from the old conjugation, or
Weak declension (Anglo-Saxon Gram.), the declension of weak
nouns; also, one of the declensions of adjectives.
Weak side, the side or aspect of a person's character or
disposition by which he is most easily affected or
influenced; weakness; infirmity.
weak sore or weak ulcer (Med.), a sore covered with pale,
flabby, sluggish granulations.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Weak \Weak\, v. t. & i. [Cf. AS. w?can. w[=a]cian. See Weak,
To make or become weak; to weaken. [R.]
Never to seek weaking variety. --Marston.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
adj 1: wanting in physical strength; "a weak pillar" [ant:
2: overly diluted; thin and insipid; "washy coffee"; "watery
milk"; "weak tea" [syn: watery, washy, weak]
3: (used of vowels or syllables) pronounced with little or no
stress; "a syllable that ends in a short vowel is a light
syllable"; "a weak stress on the second syllable" [syn:
unaccented, light, weak]
4: wanting in moral strength, courage, or will; having the
attributes of man as opposed to e.g. divine beings; "I'm only
a fallible human"; "frail humanity" [syn: fallible,
frail, imperfect, weak]
5: tending downward in price; "a weak market for oil stocks"
6: deficient or lacking in some skill; "he's weak in spelling"
7: lacking bodily or muscular strength or vitality; "a feeble
old woman"; "her body looked sapless" [syn: decrepit,
debile, feeble, infirm, rickety, sapless, weak,
8: (used of verbs) having standard (or regular) inflection
9: not having authority, political strength, or governing power;
"a weak president"
10: deficient in magnitude; barely perceptible; lacking clarity
or brightness or loudness etc; "a faint outline"; "the wan
sun cast faint shadows"; "the faint light of a distant
candle"; "weak colors"; "a faint hissing sound"; "a faint
aroma"; "a weak pulse" [syn: faint, weak]
11: likely to fail under stress or pressure; "the weak link in
12: deficient in intelligence or mental power; "a weak mind"
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
523 Moby Thesaurus words for "weak":
Adamic, Adamite, Adamitic, abulic, accented, accessible,
achromatic, achromic, afraid, airy, alveolar, amenable, anemic,
anile, anthropocentric, anthropological, apical, apico-alveolar,
apico-dental, articulated, ashen, ashy, assailable, assimilated,
asthenic, attackable, attenuate, attenuated, back, backsliding,
barely audible, barytone, beatable, bilabial, blear, bleared,
bleary, bled white, bloodless, blurred, blurry, boyish, broad,
bungling, cacuminal, cadaverous, careless, carnal, central,
cerebral, checked, chicken, chickenhearted, chloranemic, close,
colorless, confused, conquerable, consonant, consonantal,
continuant, coward, cowardly, cowed, crabbed, dark, daunted, dead,
deadly pale, deathly pale, debilitated, decrepit, decrescendo,
delicate, dental, diaphanous, dickey, dilute, diluted, dim, dimmed,
dingy, discolored, dismayed, dissimilated, distant, doddered,
doddering, doddery, dorsal, drooping, droopy, dull, earthy, easy,
easygoing, effete, emasculate, enervated, enfeebled, erring,
ethereal, etiolated, expugnable, exsanguinated, exsanguine,
exsanguineous, fade, faded, fagged, faint, faint-voiced,
fainthearted, fainting, faintish, fallen, fallow, fatigued,
fearful, featherweight, feeble, feebleminded, feeling faint, filmy,
fine, fine-drawn, finespun, finite, flabby, flaccid, flagging,
flat, flavorless, fleshly, flimsy, floppy, fluctuant, foggy,
footsore, forceless, fossilized, fragile, frail, frazzled, front,
funking, funky, fuzzy, gauzy, gentle, gerontal, gerontic, ghastly,
girlish, glide, glossal, glottal, gone, good and tired, gossamer,
gracile, gray, gruelly, gutless, guttural, haggard, half-heard,
half-seen, half-visible, hard, hazy, heavy, henhearted, hesitant,
high, hominal, homocentric, hueless, human, humanistic,
hypochromic, ill-defined, imbecile, impotent, imprecise,
impressionable, improbable, impure, inadequate, inane, incompetent,
inconceivable, inconclusive, inconspicuous, incredible, indefinite,
indifferent, indistinct, indistinguishable, ineffective,
ineffectual, inefficacious, inept, infirm, influenceable, insecure,
insipid, insubstantial, intimidated, intonated, invertebrate,
irresolute, jaded, jejune, labial, labiodental, labiovelar,
lackluster, lacy, languid, languorous, lapsed, lax, leaden,
lenient, light, lightweight, lily-livered, limber, limp, lingual,
liquid, listless, livid, loose, low, low-profile, lurid,
lusterless, lustless, malleable, man-centered, marrowless, mat,
mealy, merely glimpsed, mid, mild, milk-and-water, milk-livered,
milksoppish, milksoppy, misty, monophthongal, mortal, mossbacked,
moth-eaten, mousy, movable, muddy, mummylike, murmured, muted,
narrow, nasal, nasalized, negligent, nerveless, neutral,
no-account, obscure, occlusive, of easy virtue, of no account,
only human, open, open-minded, out of focus, overindulgent,
overpermissive, overtimid, overtimorous, oxytone, palatal,
palatalized, pale, pale as death, pale-faced, pallid, palsied,
panic-prone, panicky, papery, papery-skinned, pappy, pasty,
peccable, penetrable, permissive, persuadable, persuasible,
pervious, pharyngeal, pharyngealized, phonemic, phonetic, phonic,
pianissimo, piano, pigeonhearted, pitch, pitched, pithless,
plastic, pliable, pliant, pooped, poor, postlapsarian, posttonic,
powerless, pregnable, prodigal, pulpy, puny, rabbity, rare,
rarefied, ravaged with age, ready to drop, receptive, recidivist,
recidivistic, relaxed, remiss, responsive, retroflex, rickety,
rootless, rounded, rubbery, run ragged, run to seed, run-down,
rusty, sagging, sallow, sapless, savorless, scarcely heard, seedy,
semivisible, semivowel, senile, shadowy, shaky, shriveled, sickly,
sinewless, sissified, sissy, slack, slender, slenderish, slight,
slight-made, slim, slimmish, slinky, slipshod, sloppy, small, soft,
soft-sounding, soft-voiced, sonant, spiceless, spindly, spineless,
stale, stopped, strengthless, stressed, stricken in years, strong,
suasible, subaudible, subdued, subtle, suggestible, surd,
surmountable, susceptible, svelte, swayable, syllabic, sylphlike,
tallow-faced, tasteless, tellurian, tense, tenuous, thick, thin,
thin-bodied, thin-set, thin-spun, thinnish, threadlike, throaty,
timeworn, timid, timorous, tired, tired-winged, toilworn, tonal,
toneless, tonic, tottering, tottery, trimming, twangy, unaccented,
unangelic, unauthoritative, unbelievable, uncertain, unchaste,
unclean, unclear, uncolored, unconvincing, undefined, undependable,
unfit, unflavored, ungodly, ungood, unhardened, unmanly, unmanned,
unnerved, unplain, unproved, unqualified, unrecognizable,
unrefreshed, unreliable, unrestored, unrestrained, unrighteous,
unrigorous, unrounded, unsaintly, unsavory, unsound, unstable,
unstressed, unstrung, unsubstantial, unsuitable, unsure,
unsustained, unvirtuous, vacillating, vague, vapid, velar,
vincible, virtueless, vocalic, vocoid, voiced, voiceless, vowel,
vowellike, vulnerable, wan, wanton, washed-out, washy,
wasp-waisted, watered, watered-down, waterish, watery, wavering,
waxen, way-weary, wayward, wayworn, weak-kneed, weak-minded,
weak-voiced, weak-willed, weakened, weakhearted, weakly, wearied,
weariful, weary, weary-footed, weary-laden, weary-winged,
weary-worn, whey-faced, whispered, white, white-livered, wide,
willowy, wilting, wiredrawn, wishy-washy, wispy, withered,
without any weight, wizened, wobbly, worn, worn-down, yellow