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1. The condition or quality of being weak.
2. A personal defect or failing.
a. A special fondness or inclination: has a weakness for fast cars.
b. Something of which one is excessively fond or desirous: Ice cream is his weakness.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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 liking: a weakness for chocolates.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈwik nɪs)

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.
3. a self-indulgent liking or special fondness: a weakness for the opera.
4. an object of such liking or fondness.
syn: See fault.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. Arms felt like spaghetti —Dan Wakefield
  2. As much strength as a seaweed —Ann Beattie
  3. (A poor weak rag of a man with a) backbone like a piece of string —Dorothy Canfield Fisher
  4. Boneless as poured water —George Garrett
  5. Diminished and flat, as after radical surgery —Sylvia Plath
  6. (The great white sails of the ships were) drooping like weary wings —Mazo De La Roche
  7. Feeble as a babe —Ted Hughes
  8. Feel as if I’m strung together by threads that pop and snap —Rosellen Brown
  9. Feel diluted, like watered-down stew —Susan Minot
  10. Felt a faintness stunning her senses as though someone had cut open the arteries of her wrists and all the blood rushed out of her body —Anzia Yezierska
  11. Felt as if my legs had turned to warm lead —Stephen King
  12. Forceful as a wet noodle —Anon
  13. Forceless as a child —Aeschylus
  14. The program has been like an elderly turtle on its back: it twitches feebly every now and then, but gets nowhere —Jack D. Kirwan, Wall Street Journal, March 19, 1987

    The turtle comparison referred to the tragedy-weakened Challenger space program.

  15. Knees like liquid —Elizabeth Spencer
  16. (The man sprawls … spent, empty) limp as a drowned man tossed on the sand —George Garrett
  17. (He was) limp as laundry —W. P. Kinsella
  18. (I must have been worked up even more than I’d thought those past weeks, for now that it was all over I was) limp as a rag —Wilbur Daniel Steele
  19. Looking like an advertisement for jelly —Mike Fredman
  20. My legs felt as if … made of two lengths of rope —George Garrett
  21. No more backbone than a chocolate eclair —Theodore Roosevelt

    Roosevelt coined this simile about President McKinley when he was Secretary of the Navy.

  22. She was like an overstretched bow, almost breaking —Stephen French Whitman
  23. Softened and weakened, like a wax doll left too near the flame —George Garrett
  24. Strength running out of him like sawdust —Vicki Baum
  25. Was washed out like a disemboweled sack —Aharon Megged
  26. Weak as a broken arm —Raymond Chandler
  27. Weak as air —Ann Bradstreet

    By contrast, you could also say “Strong as air,” especially if you’ve ever seen a ship in dry dock.

  28. Weak as an nonagenarian —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  29. (He’s as) weak as a stick —Mary Lee Settle

    In Settle’s novel, Celebration, the simile relates to emotional weakness.

  30. Weak as water —The Holy Bible/Ezkiel
  31. Weak … like a cream puff with the cream squeezed out —Tom Robbins
  32. Weak, like a moth newly broken out from its chrysalis —E. F. Benson
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.weakness - a flaw or weak point; "he was quick to point out his wife's failings"
imperfection, imperfectness - the state or an instance of being imperfect
insufficiency, inadequacy - a lack of competence; "pointed out the insufficiencies in my report"; "juvenile offenses often reflect an inadequacy in the parents"
fatigue - used of materials (especially metals) in a weakened state caused by long stress; "metal fatigue"
flaw - defect or weakness in a person's character; "he had his flaws, but he was great nonetheless"
2.weakness - powerlessness revealed by an inability to act; "in spite of their weakness the group remains active"
impotence, impotency, powerlessness - the quality of lacking strength or power; being weak and feeble
3.weakness - the property of lacking physical or mental strength; liability to failure under pressure or stress or strain; "his weakness increased as he became older"; "the weakness of the span was overlooked until it collapsed"
property - a basic or essential attribute shared by all members of a class; "a study of the physical properties of atomic particles"
littleness, smallness - the property of having relatively little strength or vigor; "the smallness of her voice"
adynamia - lack of strength or vigor (especially from illness)
feebleness, tenuity - the quality of lacking intensity or substance; "a shrill yet sweet tenuity of voice"- Nathaniel Hawthorne
faintness - the property of being without strength; "the faintness or potency of the feeling"
flimsiness, shoddiness - the property of weakness by virtue of careless construction
fragility, delicacy - lack of physical strength
insubstantiality - lack of solid substance and strength
attenuation - the property of something that has been weakened or reduced in thickness or density
enervation - lack of vitality; "an enervation of mind greater than any fatigue"
fatigability - susceptibility to fatigue; a tendency to get tired or lose strength
inanition, slackness, lethargy, lassitude - weakness characterized by a lack of vitality or energy
soft spot, weak part, weak spot - a place of especial vulnerability
vulnerability - susceptibility to injury or attack
strength - the property of being physically or mentally strong; "fatigue sapped his strength"
4.weakness - the condition of being financially weak; "the weakness of the dollar against the yen"
bad luck, ill luck, tough luck, misfortune - an unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes
strength - the condition of financial success; "the strength of the company's stock in recent weeks"
5.weakness - a penchant for something even though it might not be good for you; "he has a weakness for chocolate"
penchant, preference, taste, predilection - a strong liking; "my own preference is for good literature"; "the Irish have a penchant for blarney"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


4. inadequacy, deficiency, transparency, lameness, hollowness, implausibility, flimsiness, unsoundness, tenuousness She was quick to spot the weakness in his argument.
Related words
fear asthenophobia
"A chain is no stronger than its weakest link"
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ضَعْفنُقْطَة ضَعْف
sự yếu ớt


[ˈwiːknɪs] N
1. (in body) → debilidad f; [of bone, fingernail] → fragilidad f; [of structure] → falta f de solidez, lo endeble
2. (= ineffectuality) [of person] → falta f de carácter; [of government, management] → flaqueza f, debilidad f
3. (= weak point) → punto m débil
4. (= soft spot) → debilidad f
I'm afraid doughnuts are my weaknessme temo que los donuts son mi debilidad
to have a weakness for sthtener debilidad por algo
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈwiːknəs] n
(= lack of physical strength) → faiblesse f
(= failing) → faiblesse f
the strengths and weaknesses of sth → les forces et les faiblesses de qch
to have a weakness for sth (= liking) → avoir un faible pour qch
[economy, currency] → faiblesse fweak-willed [ˌwiːkˈwɪld] adjvelléitaire
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (all senses) → Schwäche f; (= weak point)schwacher Punkt; the opposition criticized the weakness of the party’s manifestodie Opposition kritisierte, wie schwach das Wahlprogramm der Partei sei; to have a weakness for somethingfür etw eine Schwäche or Vorliebe haben
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈwiːknɪs] ndebolezza
chocolate is one of my weaknesses → il cioccolato è una delle mie passioni
to have a weakness for sth → avere un debole per qc
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(wiːk) adjective
1. lacking in physical strength. Her illness has made her very weak.
2. not strong in character. I'm very weak when it comes to giving up cigarettes.
3. (of a liquid) diluted; not strong. weak tea.
4. (of an explanation etc) not convincing.
5. (of a joke) not particularly funny.
ˈweakly adverb
ˈweaken verb
to (cause to) become weak, especially in physical strength or character. The patient has weakened; The strain of the last few days has weakened him.
ˈweakling (-liŋ) noun
a weak person, animal, or plant. She married a weakling.
ˈweakness noun
1. the state of being weak.
2. something weak or faulty; a defect. weaknesses of character; Smoking is one of my weaknesses.
have a weakness for
to have a liking for. She has a weakness for chocolate biscuits.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


ضَعْف slabost svaghed Schwäche αδυναμία debilidad heikkous faiblesse slabost debolezza 弱いこと 허약 zwakte svakhet słabość fraqueza слабость svaghet ความอ่อนแอ zayıflık sự yếu ớt 虚弱
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n. debilidad, debilitamiento, flojera, flaqueza.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n debilidad f
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
he was about my age, when, setting out one day for the chase, he felt his legs weak, the man who had never known what weakness was before."
Neither doth this weakness appear to others only, and not to the party loved; but to the loved most of all, except the love be reciproque.
The answer is obvious: The weakness of most of the members, who are unwilling to expose themselves to the mercy of foreign powers; the weakness of most of the principal members, compared with the formidable powers all around them; the vast weight and influence which the emperor derives from his separate and heriditary dominions; and the interest he feels in preserving a system with which his family pride is connected, and which constitutes him the first prince in Europe; -- these causes support a feeble and precarious Union; whilst the repellant quality, incident to the nature of sovereignty, and which time continually strengthens, prevents any reform whatever, founded on a proper consolidation.
The first moments of her captivity were terrible; a few convulsions of rage which she could not suppress paid her debt of feminine weakness to nature.
Can you pity my weakness if I confess to having felt a pang at my heart when I read that part of your letter which calls Frank a coward and a villain?
of us, under the easy circumstance of our own weakness, remains another way most easily to express ourselves for the purpose of eliminating from the world the cruelty that is practised by some few of us, for the entertainment of the rest of us, on the trained animals, who, after all, are only lesser animals than we on the round world's surface.
"If he would fight, would stand up for his honor, I could act, could express my feelings; but this weakness or baseness....
Sarkoja and the other women grunted angrily at this evidence of weakness on the part of Sola.
But so far was she from being, in the words of Robert South, "in love with her own ruin," that the illusion was transient as lightning; cold reason came back to mock her spasmodic weakness; the ghastliness of her momentary pride would convict her, and recall her to reserved listlessness again.
She washed his limbs; they were covered with thick hair; and when she dried his hands, even in his weakness they were strong and sinewy.
He knew instinctively that it was madness to give himself into her hands; his only chance was to treat her casually and never allow her to see the untamed passions that seethed in his breast; she would only take advantage of his weakness; but he could not be prudent now: he told her all the agony he had endured during the separation from her; he told her of his struggles with himself, how he had tried to get over his passion, thought he had succeeded, and how he found out that it was as strong as ever.
John Barleycorn makes his appeal to weakness and failure, to weariness and exhaustion.