feeble

[fee-buh l]
adjective, fee·bler, fee·blest.
  1. physically weak, as from age or sickness; frail.
  2. weak intellectually or morally: a feeble mind.
  3. lacking in volume, loudness, brightness, distinctness, etc.: a feeble voice; feeble light.
  4. lacking in force, strength, or effectiveness: feeble resistance; feeble arguments.

Origin of feeble

1125–75; Middle English feble < Old French, variant of fleible (by dissimilation) < Latin flēbilis lamentable, equivalent to flē(re) to weep + -bilis -ble
Related formsfee·ble·ness, nounfee·blish, adjectivefee·bly, adverbnon·fee·ble, adjectivenon·fee·ble·ness, nounnon·fee·b·ly, adverbun·fee·ble, adjectiveun·fee·ble·ness, nounun·fee·b·ly, adverb

Synonyms for feeble

1. See weak.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for feeblish

Historical Examples of feeblish

  • But down below he is not so good by any means—no spring from the loins, and feeblish, not to say shipwrecky, about the knees.

  • But down below he is not so good by any means; no spring from the loins, and feeblish, not to say shipwrecky about the knees.

    Tom Brown at Rugby

    Thomas Hughes


British Dictionary definitions for feeblish

feeble

adjective
  1. lacking in physical or mental strength; frail; weak
  2. inadequate; unconvincingfeeble excuses
  3. easily influenced or indecisive
Derived Formsfeebleness, nounfeebly, adverb

Word Origin for feeble

C12: from Old French feble, fleible, from Latin flēbilis to be lamented, from flēre to weep
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

Word Origin and History for feeblish

feeble

adj.

late 12c., from Old French feble (12c., Modern French faible) "weak, feeble," from Latin flebilis "lamentable," literally "that is to be wept over," from flere "weep, cry, shed tears, lament," from PIE *bhle- "to howl" (cf. bleat). The first -l- was dropped in Old French by dissimilation. The noun meaning "feeble person" is recorded from mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper