frail

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French fraile, from Latin fragilis. Cognate to fraction, fracture, and fragile.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

frail (comparative frailer, superlative frailest)

  1. Easily broken; mentally or physically fragile; not firm or durable; liable to fail and perish; easily destroyed; not tenacious of life; weak; infirm.
  2. Liable to fall from virtue or be led into sin; not strong against temptation; weak in resolution; unchaste.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

frail (plural frails)

  1. A basket made of rushes, used chiefly for containing figs and raisins.
  2. The quantity of raisins contained in a frail.
  3. A rush for weaving baskets.
  4. (dated, slang) A girl.
    • 1931, Cab Calloway / Irving Mills, ‘Minnie the Moocher’:
      She was the roughest, toughest frail, but Minnie had a heart as big as a whale.
    • 1933, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night, edition 1, Book 2, Chapter XXII:
      There were five people in the Quirinal bar after dinner, a high-class Italian frail who sat on a stool making persistent conversation against the bartender's bored: “Si ... Si ... Si,” a light, snobbish Egyptian who was lonely but chary of the woman, and the two Americans.
    • 1939, Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, Penguin 2011, p. 148:
      ‘She's pickin' 'em tonight, right on the nose,’ he said. ‘That tall black-headed frail.’
    • 1941, Preston Sturges, Sullivan's Travels, published in Five Screenplays, ISBN 0-520-05442-4, page 77:
      Sullivan, the girl and the butler get to the ground. The girl wears a turtle-neck sweater, a cap slightly sideways, a torn coat, turned-up pants and sneakers.
      SULLIVAN Why don't you go back with the car... You look about as much like a boy as Mae West.
      THE GIRL All right, they'll think I'm your frail.

References[edit]

Verb[edit]

frail (third-person singular simple present frails, present participle frailing, simple past and past participle frailed)

  1. To play a stringed instrument, usually a banjo, by picking with the back of a fingernail.

Anagrams[edit]