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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English weykenesse; equivalent to weak +‎ -ness.


  • IPA(key): /ˈwiːk.nəs/
  • (file)


weakness (countable and uncountable, plural weaknesses)

  1. (uncountable) The condition of being weak.
    In a small number of horses, muscle weakness may progress to paralysis.
  2. (countable) An inadequate quality; fault
    His inability to speak in front of an audience was his weakness.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Eye Witness”, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC, page 249:
      The story struck the depressingly familiar note with which true stories ring in the tried ears of experienced policemen. No one queried it. It was in the classic pattern of human weakness, mean and embarrassing and sad.
    • 2013 January 22, Phil McNulty, “Aston Villa 2-1 Bradford (3-4)”, in BBC:
      Bradford had preyed on Villa's inability to defend set pieces, corners in particular, in their first-leg win and took advantage of the weakness again as Hanson equalised to restore their two-goal aggregate lead.
    • 2020 July 1, Paul Stephen, “Vital Connections”, in Rail, page 41:
      Such a male-dominated environment is also likely to contribute to the lingering presence of an outdated belief that expressing feelings and demonstrating emotion is a sign of weakness, deterring some men from discussing their problems.
  3. (countable) A special fondness or desire.
    She is an athlete who has a weakness for chocolate.




Further reading[edit]