frail

1
[ freyl ]
/ freɪl /

adjective, frail·er, frail·est.

having delicate health; not robust; weak: My grandfather is rather frail now.
easily broken or destroyed; fragile.
morally weak; easily tempted.

noun

Older Slang: Sometimes Offensive. a term used to refer to a girl or woman.

Origin of frail

1
1300–50; Middle English frail(e), frel(e) < Old French < Latin fragilis fragile

SYNONYMS FOR frail

1, 2 feeble; breakable, frangible. Frail, brittle, fragile imply a delicacy or weakness of substance or construction. Frail applies particularly to health and immaterial things: a frail constitution; frail hopes. Brittle implies a hard material that snaps or breaks to pieces easily: brittle as glass. Fragile implies that the object must be handled carefully to avoid breakage or damage: fragile bric-a-brac.

Related forms

frail·ly, adverbfrail·ness, noun

Usage note

This term is sometimes perceived as insulting or condescending when used to refer to a woman, since it reinforces the stereotype of a weak female.

Definition for frail (2 of 2)

frail

2
[ freyl ]
/ freɪl /

noun

a flexible basket made of rushes, used especially for dried fruits, as dates, figs, or raisins.
a certain quantity of raisins, about 75 pounds (34 kg), contained in such a basket.

Origin of frail

2
1300–50; Middle English frayel, fraelle < Old French frayel < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for frail

British Dictionary definitions for frail (1 of 2)

frail

1
/ (freɪl) /

adjective

physically weak and delicate
fragilea frail craft
easily corrupted or tempted

Derived Forms

frailly, adverbfrailness, noun

Word Origin for frail

C13: from Old French frele, from Latin fragilis, fragile

British Dictionary definitions for frail (2 of 2)

frail

2
/ (freɪl) /

noun

a rush basket for figs or raisins
a quantity of raisins or figs equal to between 50 and 75 pounds

Word Origin for frail

C13: from Old French fraiel, of uncertain origin
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