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[fee-buh l] /ˈfi bəl/
adjective, feebler, feeblest.
physically weak, as from age or sickness; frail.
weak intellectually or morally:
a feeble mind.
lacking in volume, loudness, brightness, distinctness, etc.:
a feeble voice; feeble light.
lacking in force, strength, or effectiveness:
feeble resistance; feeble arguments.
Origin of feeble
1125-75; Middle English feble < Old French, variant of fleible (by dissimilation) < Latin flēbilis lamentable, equivalent to flē(re) to weep + -bilis -ble
Related forms
feebleness, noun
feeblish, adjective
feebly, adverb
nonfeeble, adjective
nonfeebleness, noun
nonfeebly, adverb
unfeeble, adjective
unfeebleness, noun
unfeebly, adverb
1. See weak. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for feeble
  • My ability is feeble, but my responsibilities are great.
  • Nay, much more those members of the body which seem to be more feeble.
  • Next to that consummation, a cake on a rake is a pretty feeble entertainment.
  • If you are appreciated as a research star, people will talk up your teaching and admin no matter how feeble.
  • So here is my feeble effort at some kind of recognition.
  • The timetables should be regarded as feeble attempts at humour written by overworked bureaucratic underlings.
  • No more feeble beams that don't work outside, or over-sensitive sensors that record random hits.
  • The stereo speakers along the bottom edge are feeble.
  • In fact, electric motors produce lots of torque, so even those with feeble horsepower can be quick off the line.
  • You've done us and our kids a fine service by exposing his feeble, reactionary comments to the cold light of reality.
British Dictionary definitions for feeble


lacking in physical or mental strength; frail; weak
inadequate; unconvincing: feeble excuses
easily influenced or indecisive
Derived Forms
feebleness, noun
feebly, adverb
Word Origin
C12: from Old French feble, fleible, from Latin flēbilis to be lamented, from flēre to weep
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 feeble

late 12c., from Old French feble (12c., Modern French faible) "weak, feeble," from Latin flebilis "lamentable," literally "that is to be wept over," from flere "weep, cry, shed tears, lament," from PIE *bhle- "to howl" (cf. bleat). The first -l- was dropped in Old French by dissimilation. The noun meaning "feeble person" is recorded from mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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