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infirm

[in-furm] /ɪnˈfɜrm/
adjective
1.
feeble or weak in body or health, especially because of age; ailing.
2.
unsteadfast, faltering, or irresolute, as persons or the mind; vacillating:
infirm of purpose.
3.
not firm, solid, or strong:
an infirm support.
4.
unsound or invalid, as an argument or a property title.
verb (used with object)
5.
to invalidate.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English infirme < Latin infirmus. See in-3, firm1
Related forms
infirmly, adverb
infirmness, noun
Synonyms
1, 3, 4. weak. 2. wavering, indecisive. 3. rickety, tottering, shaky, unsteady.
Antonyms
1, 2, 3. strong.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for infirm
  • The way that humans take care of the sick and infirm within their communities is considered a unique trait.
  • The rest of the elderly infirm had to make their own arrangements.
  • It does not require a general anaesthetic, making it an attractive option for the elderly or infirm.
  • Space was valuable on the wagon train and, if available, for the old and infirm only.
  • In fact, the immune systems of the old and infirm don't respond efficiently to the flu vaccine.
  • infirm buildings collapse each week, sometimes because they cannot withstand the vibrations from nearby construction work.
  • When granny has become so infirm that she can no longer make a cup of tea, she may be nudged into a care home.
  • Four of their highest-ranking leaders await trial but they are old and infirm.
  • Price had grown frail and infirm by that time, which affected his ability to walk, and the committee was often run by a colleague.
  • Think of the mobility enhancements for the infirm and elderly.
British Dictionary definitions for infirm

infirm

/ɪnˈfɜːm/
adjective
1.
  1. weak in health or body, esp from old age
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the) the infirm
2.
lacking moral certainty; indecisive or irresolute
3.
not stable, sound, or secure an infirm structure, an infirm claim
4.
(law) (of a law, custom, etc) lacking legal force; invalid
Derived Forms
infirmly, adverb
infirmness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for infirm
adj.

late 14c., "weak, unsound" (of things), from Latin infirmus "weak, frail, feeble" (figuratively "superstitious, pusillanimous, inconstant"), from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + firmus (see firm (adj.)). Of persons, "not strong, unhealthy," first recorded c.1600. As a noun from 1711.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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infirm in Medicine

infirm in·firm (ĭn-fûrm')
adj.
Weak in body, especially from old age or disease; feeble.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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