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frail

1
[ freyl ]
/ freɪl /
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See synonyms for: frail / frailness on Thesaurus.com

Definition of frail

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.
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Origin of frail

1
First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English frail(e), frel(e), from Old French, from Latin fragilis fragile

synonym study for frail

1, 2. 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.

usage note for frail

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.

OTHER WORDS FROM frail

frailly, adverbfrailness, noun

Other definitions for frail (2 of 2)

frail2
[ 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 kilograms), contained in such a basket.

Origin of frail

2
First recorded 1300–50; Middle English frayel, fraelle, from Old French frayel; further origin unknown
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use frail in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for frail (1 of 2)

frail1
/ (freɪl) /

adjective
physically weak and delicate
fragilea frail craft
easily corrupted or tempted

Derived forms of frail

frailly, adverbfrailness, noun

Word Origin for frail

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

British Dictionary definitions for frail (2 of 2)

frail2
/ (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
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