- not strong; liable to yield, break, or collapse under pressure or strain; fragile; frail: a weak fortress; a weak spot in armor.
- lacking in bodily strength or healthy vigor, as from age or sickness; feeble; infirm: a weak old man; weak eyes.
- not having much political strength, governing power, or authority: a weak nation; a weak ruler.
- lacking in force, potency, or efficacy; impotent, ineffectual, or inadequate: weak sunlight; a weak wind.
- lacking in rhetorical or creative force or effectiveness: a weak reply to the charges; one of the author's weakest novels.
- lacking in logical or legal force or soundness: a weak argument.
- deficient in mental power, intelligence, or judgment: a weak mind.
- not having much moral strength or firmness, resolution, or force of character: to prove weak under temptation; weak compliance.
- deficient in amount, volume, loudness, intensity, etc.; faint; slight: a weak current of electricity; a weak pulse.
- deficient, lacking, or poor in something specified: a hand weak in trumps; I'm weak in spelling.
- deficient in the essential or usual properties or ingredients: weak tea.
- unstressed, as a syllable, vowel, or word.
- (of Germanic verbs) inflected with suffixes, without inherited change of the root vowel, as English work, worked, or having a preterit ending in a dental, as English bring, brought.
- (of Germanic nouns and adjectives) inflected with endings originally appropriate to stems terminating in -n, as the adjective alte in German der alte Mann (“the old man”).
- (of wheat or flour) having a low gluten content or having a poor quality of gluten.
- Photography. thin; not dense.
- Commerce. characterized by a decline in prices: The market was weak in the morning but rallied in the afternoon.
Origin of weak
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for weak
A lot of people think females are too weak for the job, but I know that all the men she worked with saw her as one of the guys.The Mystery Death Of A Female Firefighter
December 13, 2014
Alas, his soul is willing, but his flesh is weak and he whiffs.After Torture Report, Our Moral Authority As a Nation Is Gone
December 11, 2014
The paperwork was spotless: he had died in transit, the conjunction of a weak heart and long trip.A Million Ways to Die in Prison
December 8, 2014
The general rap on him is: reasonably well-intentioned but weak.After the Israel Synagogue Massacre: A New Intifada?
November 19, 2014
But beyond that point, secrecy creates its own problems: high costs and weak oversight.Is the Pentagon’s $55 Billion Stealth Bomber Too Big a Secret?
September 22, 2014
My hope is weak that I shall ever again see you, yet it is possible.Brave and Bold
When the Kings were weak the nobles often managed to get hold of the State.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
Would he be strong or weak; and what would be weakness, and what strength, in a position so strange?Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
For history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
She had no affection for this selfish invalid, this weak, peevish bully.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
- lacking in physical or mental strength or force; frail or feeble
- liable to yield, break, or give waya weak link in a chain
- lacking in resolution or firmness of character
- lacking strength, power, or intensitya weak voice
- lacking strength in a particular parta team weak in defence
- not functioning as well as normalweak eyes
- easily upseta weak stomach
- lacking in conviction, persuasiveness, etca weak argument
- lacking in political or strategic strengtha weak state
- lacking the usual, full, or desirable strength of flavourweak tea
- denoting or belonging to a class of verbs, in certain languages including the Germanic languages, whose conjugation relies on inflectional endings rather than internal vowel gradation, as look, looks, looking, looked
- belonging to any part-of-speech class, in any of various languages, whose inflections follow the more regular of two possible patternsCompare strong (def. 13)
- (of a syllable) not accented or stressed
- (of a fuel-air mixture) containing a relatively low proportion of fuelCompare rich (def. 13)
- photog having low density or contrast; thin
- (of an industry, market, currency, securities, etc) falling in price or characterized by falling prices
Word Origin and History for weak
c.1300, from Old Norse veikr "weak," cognate with Old English wac "weak, pliant, soft," from Proto-Germanic *waikwaz "yield," *wikanan "bend" (cf. Old Saxon wek, Swedish vek, Middle Dutch weec, Dutch week "weak, soft, tender," Old High German weih "yielding, soft," German weich "soft," from PIE root *weik- "to bend, wind" (see vicarious). Sense of "lacking authority" is first recorded early 15c.; that of "lacking moral strength" late 14c. Weak-kneed "wanting in resolve" is from 1870.