AskDefine | Define weak

The Collaborative Dictionary

Weak \Weak\ (w[=e]k), a. [Compar. Weaker (w[=e]k"[~e]r); superl. Weakest.] [OE. weik, Icel. veikr; akin to Sw. vek, Dan. veg soft, flexible, pliant, AS. w[=a]c weak, soft, pliant, D. week, G. weich, OHG. weih; all from the verb seen in Icel. v[imac]kja to turn, veer, recede, AS. w[imac]can to yield, give way, G. weichen, OHG. w[imac]hhan, akin to Skr. vij, and probably to E. week, L. vicis a change, turn, Gr. e'i`kein to yield, give way. [root]132. Cf. Week, Wink, v. i. Vicissitude.] [1913 Webster]
Wanting physical strength. Specifically: [1913 Webster] (a) Deficient in strength of body; feeble; infirm; sickly; debilitated; enfeebled; exhausted. [1913 Webster] A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Weak with hunger, mad with love. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] (b) Not able to sustain a great weight, pressure, or strain; as, a weak timber; a weak rope. [1913 Webster] (c) Not firmly united or adhesive; easily broken or separated into pieces; not compact; as, a weak ship. [1913 Webster] (d) Not stiff; pliant; frail; soft; as, the weak stalk of a plant. [1913 Webster] (e) Not able to resist external force or onset; easily subdued or overcome; as, a weak barrier; as, a weak fortress. [1913 Webster] (f) Lacking force of utterance or sound; not sonorous; low; small; feeble; faint. [1913 Webster] A voice not soft, weak, piping, and womanish. --Ascham. [1913 Webster] (g) Not thoroughly or abundantly impregnated with the usual or required ingredients, or with stimulating and nourishing substances; of less than the usual strength; as, weak tea, broth, or liquor; a weak decoction or solution; a weak dose of medicine. [1913 Webster] (h) Lacking ability for an appropriate function or office; as, weak eyes; a weak stomach; a weak magistrate; a weak regiment, or army. [1913 Webster]
Not possessing or manifesting intellectual, logical, moral, or political strength, vigor, etc. Specifically: [1913 Webster] (a) Feeble of mind; wanting discernment; lacking vigor; spiritless; as, a weak king or magistrate. [1913 Webster] To think every thing disputable is a proof of a weak mind and captious temper. --Beattie. [1913 Webster] Origen was never weak enough to imagine that there were two Gods. --Waterland. [1913 Webster] (b) Resulting from, or indicating, lack of judgment, discernment, or firmness; unwise; hence, foolish. [1913 Webster] If evil thence ensue, She first his weak indulgence will accuse. --Milton. [1913 Webster] (c) Not having full confidence or conviction; not decided or confirmed; vacillating; wavering. [1913 Webster] Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. --Rom. xiv.
[1913 Webster] (d) Not able to withstand temptation, urgency, persuasion, etc.; easily impressed, moved, or overcome; accessible; vulnerable; as, weak resolutions; weak virtue. [1913 Webster] Guard thy heart On this weak side, where most our nature fails. --Addison. [1913 Webster] (e) Wanting in power to influence or bind; as, weak ties; a weak sense of honor of duty. [1913 Webster] (f) Not having power to convince; not supported by force of reason or truth; unsustained; as, a weak argument or case. "Convinced of his weak arguing." --Milton. [1913 Webster] A case so weak . . . hath much persisted in. --Hooker. [1913 Webster] (g) Wanting in point or vigor of expression; as, a weak sentence; a weak style. [1913 Webster] (h) Not prevalent or effective, or not felt to be prevalent; not potent; feeble. "Weak prayers." --Shak. [1913 Webster] (i) Lacking in elements of political strength; not wielding or having authority or energy; deficient in the resources that are essential to a ruler or nation; as, a weak monarch; a weak government or state. [1913 Webster] I must make fair weather yet awhile, Till Henry be more weak, and I more strong. --Shak. [1913 Webster] (k) (Stock Exchange) Tending towards lower prices; as, a weak market. [1913 Webster]
(Gram.) (a) Pertaining to, or designating, a verb which forms its preterit (imperfect) and past participle by adding to the present the suffix -ed, -d, or the variant form -t; as in the verbs abash, abashed; abate, abated; deny, denied; feel, felt. See Strong, 19 (a) . (b) Pertaining to, or designating, a noun in Anglo-Saxon, etc., the stem of which ends in -n. See Strong, 19 (b) . [1913 Webster]
(Stock Exchange) Tending toward a lower price or lower prices; as, wheat is weak; a weak market. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
(Card Playing) Lacking in good cards; deficient as to number or strength; as, a hand weak in trumps. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
(Photog.) Lacking contrast; as, a weak negative. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] Note: Weak is often used in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, weak-eyed, weak-handed, weak-hearted, weak-minded, weak-spirited, and the like. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster] Weak conjugation (Gram.), the conjugation of weak verbs; -- called also new conjugation, or regular conjugation, and distinguished from the old conjugation, or irregular conjugation. Weak declension (Anglo-Saxon Gram.), the declension of weak nouns; also, one of the declensions of adjectives. Weak side, the side or aspect of a person's character or disposition by which he is most easily affected or influenced; weakness; infirmity. weak sore or weak ulcer (Med.), a sore covered with pale, flabby, sluggish granulations. [1913 Webster]
Weak \Weak\, v. t. & i. [Cf. AS. w?can. w[=a]cian. See Weak, a.] To make or become weak; to weaken. [R.] [1913 Webster] Never to seek weaking variety. --Marston. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

weak adj
1 having little physical or spiritual strength; "a weak radio signal"; "a weak link" [ant: strong]
2 overly diluted; thin and insipid; "washy coffee"; "watery milk"; "weak tea" [syn: watery, washy]
3 lacking power [syn: powerless] [ant: powerful]
4 used of vowels or syllables; pronounced with little or no stress; "a syllable that ends in a short vowel is a light syllable"; "a weak stress on the second syllable" [syn: unaccented, light]
5 having the attributes of man as opposed to e.g. divine beings; "I'm only human"; "frail humanity" [syn: fallible, frail, imperfect]
6 lacking force; feeble; "a forceless argument" [syn: forceless, unforceful] [ant: forceful]
7 lacking physical strength or vitality; "a feeble old woman"; "her body looked sapless" [syn: decrepit, debile, feeble, infirm, sapless, weakly]
8 used of verbs having standard (or regular) inflection
9 lacking physical strength or vigor
10 characterized by excessive softness or self-indulgence; "an effeminate civilization" [syn: effeminate]

Moby Thesaurus

Adamic, Adamite, Adamitic, abulic, accented, accessible, achromatic, achromic, afraid, airy, alveolar, amenable, anemic, anile, anthropocentric, anthropological, apical, apico-alveolar, apico-dental, articulated, ashen, ashy, assailable, assimilated, asthenic, attackable, attenuate, attenuated, back, backsliding, barely audible, barytone, beatable, bilabial, blear, bleared, bleary, bled white, bloodless, blurred, blurry, boyish, broad, bungling, cacuminal, cadaverous, careless, carnal, central, cerebral, checked, chicken, chickenhearted, chloranemic, close, colorless, confused, conquerable, consonant, consonantal, continuant, coward, cowardly, cowed, crabbed, dark, daunted, dead, deadly pale, deathly pale, debilitated, decrepit, decrescendo, delicate, dental, diaphanous, dickey, dilute, diluted, dim, dimmed, dingy, discolored, dismayed, dissimilated, distant, doddered, doddering, doddery, dorsal, drooping, droopy, dull, earthy, easy, easygoing, effete, emasculate, enervated, enfeebled, erring, ethereal, etiolated, expugnable, exsanguinated, exsanguine, exsanguineous, fade, faded, fagged, faint, faint-voiced, fainthearted, fainting, faintish, fallen, fallow, fatigued, fearful, featherweight, feeble, feebleminded, feeling faint, filmy, fine, fine-drawn, finespun, finite, flabby, flaccid, flagging, flat, flavorless, fleshly, flimsy, floppy, fluctuant, foggy, footsore, forceless, fossilized, fragile, frail, frazzled, front, funking, funky, fuzzy, gauzy, gentle, gerontal, gerontic, ghastly, girlish, glide, glossal, glottal, gone, good and tired, gossamer, gracile, gray, gruelly, gutless, guttural, haggard, half-heard, half-seen, half-visible, hard, hazy, heavy, henhearted, hesitant, high, hominal, homocentric, hueless, human, humanistic, hypochromic, ill-defined, imbecile, impotent, imprecise, impressionable, improbable, impure, inadequate, inane, incompetent, inconceivable, inconclusive, inconspicuous, incredible, indefinite, indifferent, indistinct, indistinguishable, ineffective, ineffectual, inefficacious, inept, infirm, influenceable, insecure, insipid, insubstantial, intimidated, intonated, invertebrate, irresolute, jaded, jejune, labial, labiodental, labiovelar, lackluster, lacy, languid, languorous, lapsed, lax, leaden, lenient, light, lightweight, lily-livered, limber, limp, lingual, liquid, listless, livid, loose, low, low-profile, lurid, lusterless, lustless, malleable, man-centered, marrowless, mat, mealy, merely glimpsed, mid, mild, milk-and-water, milk-livered, milksoppish, milksoppy, misty, monophthongal, mortal, mossbacked, moth-eaten, mousy, movable, muddy, mummylike, murmured, muted, narrow, nasal, nasalized, negligent, nerveless, neutral, no-account, obscure, occlusive, of easy virtue, of no account, only human, open, open-minded, out of focus, overindulgent, overpermissive, overtimid, overtimorous, oxytone, palatal, palatalized, pale, pale as death, pale-faced, pallid, palsied, panic-prone, panicky, papery, papery-skinned, pappy, pasty, peccable, penetrable, permissive, persuadable, persuasible, pervious, pharyngeal, pharyngealized, phonemic, phonetic, phonic, pianissimo, piano, pigeonhearted, pitch, pitched, pithless, plastic, pliable, pliant, pooped, poor, postlapsarian, posttonic, powerless, pregnable, prodigal, pulpy, puny, rabbity, rare, rarefied, ravaged with age, ready to drop, receptive, recidivist, recidivistic, relaxed, remiss, responsive, retroflex, rickety, rootless, rounded, rubbery, run ragged, run to seed, run-down, rusty, sagging, sallow, sapless, savorless, scarcely heard, seedy, semivisible, semivowel, senile, shadowy, shaky, shriveled, sickly, sinewless, sissified, sissy, slack, slender, slenderish, slight, slight-made, slim, slimmish, slinky, slipshod, sloppy, small, soft, soft-sounding, soft-voiced, sonant, spiceless, spindly, spineless, stale, stopped, strengthless, stressed, stricken in years, strong, suasible, subaudible, subdued, subtle, suggestible, surd, surmountable, susceptible, svelte, swayable, syllabic, sylphlike, tallow-faced, tasteless, tellurian, tense, tenuous, thick, thin, thin-bodied, thin-set, thin-spun, thinnish, threadlike, throaty, timeworn, timid, timorous, tired, tired-winged, toilworn, tonal, toneless, tonic, tottering, tottery, trimming, twangy, unaccented, unangelic, unauthoritative, unbelievable, uncertain, unchaste, unclean, unclear, uncolored, unconvincing, undefined, undependable, unfit, unflavored, ungodly, ungood, unhardened, unmanly, unmanned, unnerved, unplain, unproved, unqualified, unrecognizable, unrefreshed, unreliable, unrestored, unrestrained, unrighteous, unrigorous, unrounded, unsaintly, unsavory, unsound, unstable, unstressed, unstrung, unsubstantial, unsuitable, unsure, unsustained, unvirtuous, vacillating, vague, vapid, velar, vincible, virtueless, vocalic, vocoid, voiced, voiceless, vowel, vowellike, vulnerable, wan, wanton, washed-out, washy, wasp-waisted, watered, watered-down, waterish, watery, wavering, waxen, way-weary, wayward, wayworn, weak-kneed, weak-minded, weak-voiced, weak-willed, weakened, weakhearted, weakly, wearied, weariful, weary, weary-footed, weary-laden, weary-winged, weary-worn, whey-faced, whispered, white, white-livered, wide, willowy, wilting, wiredrawn, wishy-washy, wispy, withered, without any weight, wizened, wobbly, worn, worn-down, yellow

English

Etymology

weike, from veikr "weak," cognate with Old English wīcan "to yield." Proto-Indo-European base *weik- "to bend, wind"

Pronunciation

  • , /wiːk/, /wi:k/
  • Rhymes with: -iːk

Homophones

Adjective

weak (: weaker, : weakest)
  1. Lacking in force or ability.
    The child was too weak to move the boulder.
  2. Dilute, lacking in taste or potency.
    We were served stale bread and weak tea.
  3. In the context of "grammar": Regular in inflection, especially of verbs.
  4. One of the four fundamental forces associated with nuclear decay.
  5. Bad or uncool.
    This place is weak.
  6. In the context of "Canada|slang}}
The word weak is a generic adjective pertaining to a lack of strength. Weak is the opposite of strong. It does not refer to what James Waters said, but it may refer to:

Computing

In concurrent programming refers to weaker consistency models.
  • A weak entity is a database entity that cannot be uniquely identified by its own attributes alone.
  • A weak reference is a reference that does not protect the referent object from collection by the garbage collector.
  • A weak symbol is a symbol definition in an object file or dynamic library that may be overridden by other symbol definitions.

Music

Science

Miscellaneous

weak in French: Faible
weak in Yiddish: שוואך
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