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See more synonyms for foible on Thesaurus.com
  1. a minor weakness or failing of character; slight flaw or defect: an all-too-human foible.
  2. the weaker part of a sword blade, between the middle and the point (opposed to forte).
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Origin of foible

1640–50; < French, obsolete form of faible feeble


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

Examples from the Web for foible

Historical Examples

  • You know vanity is not my foible, therefore I need not fear your censure.

    Sir William Herschel: His Life and Works

    Edward Singleton Holden

  • Vanity had been the foible of her childish years; it was now the vice of her womanhood.

  • Mrs. Vint had pricked his conscience, but she had wounded his foible.

  • His foible is, a canine appetite for popularity and fame; but he will get above this.

  • I am afraid my mother is rather exacting; it is a Blake foible.'

    Lover or Friend

    Rosa Nouchette Carey

British Dictionary definitions for foible


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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper