From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English frelete, frailte, from Old French fraileté, from Latin fragilitās. By surface analysis, frail +‎ -ty. Doublet of fragility.


  • IPA(key): /ˈfɹeɪ(ə)lti/
  • (file)


frailty (countable and uncountable, plural frailties)

  1. (uncountable) The condition quality of being frail, physically, mentally, or morally; weakness of resolution; liability to be deceived.
    Synonyms: frailness, infirmity
    • 1748, David Hume, Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral., London: Oxford University Press, published 1973, § 36, n. 1:
      the limitations and restraints of civil government, and a legal constitution, may be defended, either from reason, which reflecting on the great frailty and corruption of human nature, teaches, that no man can safely be trusted with unlimited authority ;
    • 2011 October 29, Phil McNulty, “Chelsea 3 - 5 Arsenal”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      For all their frailty at the back, Arsenal possessed genuine menace in attack and they carved through Chelsea with ease to restore parity nine minutes before half-time. Aaron Ramsey's pass was perfection and Gervinho took the unselfish option to set up Van Persie for a tap-in.
  2. A fault proceeding from weakness; foible; sin of infirmity.

Related terms[edit]