Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.


a. Susceptible to physical harm or damage: trees that are vulnerable to insects;
b. Susceptible to emotional injury, especially in being easily hurt: a lonely child who is vulnerable to teasing.
c. Susceptible to attack: "We are vulnerable both by water and land, without either fleet or army" (Alexander Hamilton).
d. Open to censure or criticism; assailable: The mayor is vulnerable to criticism on the issue.
2. Games In a position to receive greater penalties or bonuses in a hand of bridge. In a rubber, used of the pair of players who score 100 points toward game.

[Late Latin vulnerābilis, wounding, from Latin vulnerāre, to wound, from vulnus, vulner-, wound; see welə- in Indo-European roots.]

vul′ner·a·bil′i·ty, vul′ner·a·ble·ness n.
vul′ner·a·bly adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:


The condition of being laid open to something undesirable or injurious:
References in periodicals archive ?
Such risks influence employers in determining ways to confine their vulnerableness to imminent allegations.
"I was surprised by their wisdom, their honesty, their vulnerableness, and our shared sadness of how little we have traveled in the area of diversity after all these years," Lee said.
It is usually only then that you own up to those deep Revelations of vulnerableness. I know that Every lover who has ever held a trembling man A vulnerable, trembling tears-in-his-eyes, Whispering, babbling, post-ejaculation man ...