- having delicate health; not robust; weak: My grandfather is rather frail now.
- easily broken or destroyed; fragile.
- morally weak; easily tempted.
- Older Slang: Sometimes Offensive. a term used to refer to a girl or woman.
Origin of frail1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a flexible basket made of rushes, used especially for dried fruits, as dates, figs, or raisins.
- a certain quantity of raisins, about 75 pounds (34 kg), contained in such a basket.
Origin of frail2
Examples from the Web for frail
Alma Hitchcock, the times I saw her, was a frail, birdlike woman who looked angry about her infirmity.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
He was old, frail and handcuffed; 20 minutes later they had a crime to cover up.A Million Ways to Die in Prison
December 8, 2014
You start losing all this weight and looking gaunt and frail.'So You Think You Can Dance' Winner Ricky Ubeda Is Adorable, and Tired
September 4, 2014
Omran, who was 17 at the time, was completely bald, weak, and as frail as a burnt match.Beating Cancer & Dodging Israel's Bombs
September 1, 2014
In March 2013 the Séléka rebellion toppled the frail Bozizé regime.The Curse of CAR: Warlords, Blood Diamonds, and Dead Elephants
May 25, 2014
The sun had risen, while they sat, rocking on their frail support.Beauty and The Beast, and Tales From Home
Four muskets only were left within their frail intrenchments.King Philip
John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
If his boat were not so frail and his arms were stronger, by pressing on and onward he could escape.Murder Point
My condition was all too plain as I leaned against her frail body for support.The Shame of Motley
Marius had seized her again and was crushing her frail body in his arms.St. Martin's Summer
- physically weak and delicate
- fragilea frail craft
- easily corrupted or tempted
- a rush basket for figs or raisins
- a quantity of raisins or figs equal to between 50 and 75 pounds
Word Origin and History for frail
mid-14c., "morally weak," from Old French fraile "weak, frail, sickly, infirm" (Modern French frêle), from Latin fragilis "easily broken" (see fragility). Sense of "liable to break" is first recorded in English late 14c. The U.S. slang noun meaning "a woman" is attested from 1908.