9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[vuhl-ner-uh-buh l] /ˈvʌl nər ə bəl/
capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon:
a vulnerable part of the body.
open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.:
an argument vulnerable to refutation; He is vulnerable to bribery.
(of a place) open to assault; difficult to defend:
a vulnerable bridge.
Bridge. having won one of the games of a rubber.
Origin of vulnerable
1595-1605; < Late Latin vulnerābilis, equivalent to Latin vulnerā(re) to wound + -bilis -ble; see vulnerary
Related forms
vulnerability, vulnerableness, noun
vulnerably, adverb
unvulnerable, adjective
Can be confused
venerable, vulnerable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vulnerabilities
  • Overreliance on nonrenewable resources over the past few centuries has revealed their inherent vulnerabilities.
  • He says they commandeer taste vulnerabilities and make virtual addicts of consumers.
  • vulnerabilities exist in every system and there are two kinds: known and unknown.
  • vulnerabilities must be avoided with forethought and careful design.
  • It is also revising its growth plans, hoping to reduce its vulnerabilities.
  • Our relatedness to other animals also leaves us with some common vulnerabilities.
  • Individual people are incredibly varied in their strengths and vulnerabilities.
  • First, both countries face growing economic challenges and vulnerabilities.
  • However, the conflict is governed by a respect for the partner's deepest vulnerabilities.
  • Many scientists say that environmental exposures, perhaps even in the womb, may activate such genetic vulnerabilities.
British Dictionary definitions for vulnerabilities


capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt
open to temptation, persuasion, censure, etc
liable or exposed to disease, disaster, etc
(military) liable or exposed to attack
(bridge) (of a side who have won one game towards rubber) subject to increased bonuses or penalties
Derived Forms
vulnerability, vulnerableness, noun
vulnerably, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin vulnerābilis, from Latin vulnerāre to wound, from vulnus a wound
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 vulnerabilities



c.1600, from Late Latin vulnerabilis "wounding," from Latin vulnerare "to wound," from vulnus (genitive vulneris) "wound," perhaps related to vellere "pluck, to tear."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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