vulnerable

[vuhl-ner-uh-buh l]
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adjective
  1. capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body.
  2. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.: an argument vulnerable to refutation; He is vulnerable to bribery.
  3. (of a place) open to assault; difficult to defend: a vulnerable bridge.
  4. Bridge. having won one of the games of a rubber.

Origin of vulnerable

1595–1605; < Late Latin vulnerābilis, equivalent to Latin vulnerā(re) to wound + -bilis -ble; see vulnerary
Related formsvul·ner·a·bil·i·ty, vul·ner·a·ble·ness, nounvul·ner·a·bly, adverbun·vul·ner·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedvenerable vulnerable
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for vulnerability

vulnerable

adjective
  1. capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt
  2. open to temptation, persuasion, censure, etc
  3. liable or exposed to disease, disaster, etc
  4. military liable or exposed to attack
  5. bridge (of a side who have won one game towards rubber) subject to increased bonuses or penalties
Derived Formsvulnerability or vulnerableness, nounvulnerably, adverb

Word Origin for vulnerable

C17: from Late Latin vulnerābilis, from Latin vulnerāre to wound, from vulnus a wound
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 vulnerability

vulnerable

adj.

c.1600, from Late Latin vulnerabilis "wounding," from Latin vulnerare "to wound," from vulnus (genitive vulneris) "wound," perhaps related to vellere "pluck, to tear."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper