[ foi-buhl ]
/ ˈfɔɪ bəl /


a minor weakness or failing of character; slight flaw or defect: an all-too-human foible.
the weaker part of a sword blade, between the middle and the point (opposed to forte).

Nearby words

  1. fogram,
  2. fogy,
  3. foh,
  4. foi,
  5. foia,
  6. foie gras,
  7. foil,
  8. foilborne,
  9. foiled,
  10. foilsman

Origin of foible

1640–50; < French, obsolete form of faible feeble Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foible

British Dictionary definitions for foible


/ (ˈfɔɪbəl) /


a slight peculiarity or minor weakness; idiosyncrasy
the most vulnerable part of a sword's blade, from the middle to the tipCompare forte 1 (def. 2)

Word Origin for foible

C17: from obsolete French, from obsolete adj: feeble

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 foible



1640s, "weak point of a sword blade" (contrasted to forte), from French foible (n.), from obsolete foible (adj.) "weak," from Old French foible "feeble," dissimilated from Lain flebilis (see feeble). Extended sense of "weak point of character" is first recorded 1670s. Related: Foibles.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper