vulnerable

[ vuhl-ner-uh-buhl ]
/ ˈvʌl nər ə bəl /

adjective

capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body.
open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.: an argument vulnerable to refutation; He is vulnerable to bribery.
(of a place) open to assault; difficult to defend: a vulnerable bridge.
Bridge. having won one of the games of a rubber.
Biology, Ecology. (of a threatened plant or animal species) likely to be classified endangered in the near future unless circumstances that threaten reproduction and survival improve, as categorized by the IUCN Red List: At least 15 percent of our vulnerable reptiles are turtles. Abbreviation: VU

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Origin of vulnerable

First recorded in 1610–20; from Late Latin vulnerābilis “injurious, wounding,” equivalent to Latin vulnerā(re) “to wound” + -bilis; see -ble

OTHER WORDS FROM vulnerable

vul·ner·a·bil·i·ty, vul·ner·a·ble·ness, nounvul·ner·a·bly, adverbun·vul·ner·a·ble, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH vulnerable

venerable vulnerable
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for vulnerable

British Dictionary definitions for vulnerable

vulnerable
/ (ˈvʌlnərəbəl) /

adjective

capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt
open to temptation, persuasion, censure, etc
liable or exposed to disease, disaster, etc
military liable or exposed to attack
bridge (of a side who have won one game towards rubber) subject to increased bonuses or penalties

Derived forms of vulnerable

vulnerability 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