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[freyl-tee, frey-uh l-] /ˈfreɪl ti, ˈfreɪ əl-/
noun, plural frailties for 3.
the quality or state of being frail.
moral weakness; liability to yield to temptation.
a fault resulting from moral weakness:
frailties of the human flesh.
Origin of frailty
1300-50; Middle English frailte, frelete < Old French frailete < Latin fragilitāt- (stem of fragilitās). See frail1, -ity
Related forms
overfrailty, noun
1. delicacy, weakness, fragility. 2. susceptibility, suggestibility. 3. flaw, defect. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for frailty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You know how all men speak well and piously, and act otherwise, as advantage or frailty prompts.

  • The interval was passed with the young lady of frailty and beauty.

    City Crimes Greenhorn
  • He tried to raise her chin that his lips might put the seal of frailty upon hers, but she resisted him firmly, inexorably.

    The Hills of Refuge Will N. Harben
  • I did not know then the weakness, and frailty, and grossness of the human clay.

    Theft Jack London
  • I knew not the frailty of the support on which I built my expectations.

    Cruisings in the Cascades George O. Shields
  • And, by the frailty of those they have triumphed over, they judge of all the rest.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
British Dictionary definitions for frailty


noun (pl) -ties
physical or moral weakness
(often pl) a fault symptomatic of moral weakness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for frailty

mid-14c., from Old French fraileté "frailty, weakness," from Latin fragilitatem (nominative fragilitas), from fragilis "fragile" (see fragility). Related: Frailties.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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