From Middle English weik, waik, from Old Norse veikr (“weak”), from Proto-Germanic *waikwaz (“weak, yielded, pliant, bendsome”), from Proto-Indo-European *weyk- (“to bend, wind”). Cognate with Old English wāc (“weak, bendsome”), wīcan (“to yield”), Saterland Frisian wook (“soft, gentle, tender”) West Frisian weak (“soft”), Dutch week (“soft, weak”), German weich (“weak, soft”), Swedish vek (“weak, pliant”), Icelandic veikur (“bendsome, weak”).
- Lacking in force (usually strength) or ability.
- The child was too weak to move the boulder.
- They easily guessed his weak computer password.
- a poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man
- weak with hunger, mad with love
- Unable to sustain a great weight, pressure, or strain.
- a weak timber; a weak rope
- Unable to withstand temptation, urgency, persuasion, etc.; easily impressed, moved, or overcome; accessible; vulnerable.
- weak resolutions; weak virtue
- Joseph Addison, The Fair Petinent Act I, scene I:
- Guard thy heart / On this weak side, where most our nature fails.
- Dilute, lacking in taste or potency.
1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 2, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
- That the young Mr. Churchills liked—but they did not like him coming round of an evening and drinking weak whisky-and-water while he held forth on railway debentures and corporation loans. Mr. Barrett, however, by fawning and flattery, seemed to be able to make not only Mrs. Churchill but everyone else do what he desired.
- We were served stale bread and weak tea.
- (grammar) Displaying a particular kind of inflection, including:
- (chemistry) That does not ionize completely into anions and cations in a solution.
- a weak acid; a weak base
- (physics) One of the four fundamental forces associated with nuclear decay.
- (slang) Bad or uncool.
- This place is weak.
- (mathematics, logic) Having a narrow range of logical consequences; narrowly applicable. (Often contrasted with a strong statement which implies it.)
- Resulting from, or indicating, lack of judgment, discernment, or firmness; unwise; hence, foolish.
- If evil thence ensue, / She first his weak indulgence will accuse.
- Not having power to convince; not supported by force of reason or truth; unsustained.
- The prosecution advanced a weak case.
- convinced of his weak arguing
- Lacking in vigour or expression.
- a weak sentence; a weak style
- Not prevalent or effective, or not felt to be prevalent; not potent; feeble.
- weak prayers
- (stock exchange) Tending towards lower prices.
- a weak market; wheat is weak at present
- (photography) Lacking contrast.
- a weak negative
- (lacking in force or ability): feeble, frail, powerless, vincible, assailable, vulnerable
- (lacking in taste or potency): dilute, watery
- See also wikisaurus:weak
- (lacking in force or ability): healthy, powerful, robust, strong, invincible
- (lacking in taste or potency): potent, robust, strong
- (chemistry: that does not ionize completely): strong
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