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weakness

[week-nis]
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noun
  1. the state or quality of being weak; lack of strength, firmness, vigor, or the like; feebleness.
  2. an inadequate or defective quality, as in a person's character; slight fault or defect: to show great sympathy for human weaknesses.
  3. a self-indulgent liking or special fondness, as for a particular thing: I've always had a weakness for the opera.
  4. an object of special desire; something very difficult to resist: Chocolates were her weakness.
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Origin of weakness

First recorded in 1250–1300, weakness is from the Middle English word weikenes. See weak, -ness
Related formsnon·weak·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. fragility. 2. flaw. See fault. 3. penchant, passion, hunger, appetite.

Antonyms

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

Related Words

flawvulnerabilitylapselackfragilitygapdeficiencyshortcomingfrailtyinstabilityfailinglikingtastelanguorprostrationappetitepenchantimperfectionfeeblenesspassion

Examples from the Web for weaknesses

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He was used to dealing with pique in women, and had found it the most manageable of weaknesses.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • She knew him now—all his small indolences, his affectations, his weaknesses.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • There is nothing like building our fortune on the weaknesses of mankind.'

  • It is entirely free from the weaknesses of the ordinary Sunday school book.

  • Ought he not to be dead to all the weaknesses of this world?


British Dictionary definitions for weaknesses

weakness

noun
  1. the state or quality of being weak
  2. a deficiency or failing, as in a person's character
  3. a self-indulgent fondness or likinga weakness for chocolates
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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 weaknesses

weakness

n.

c.1300, "quality of being weak," from weak + -ness. Meaning "a disadvantage, vulnerability" is from 1590s. That of "self-indulgent fondness" is from 1712; meaning "thing for which one has an indulgent fondness" is from 1822.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with weaknesses

weakness

see have a weakness for.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.