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feeble

[fee-buh l] /ˈfi bəl/
adjective, feebler, feeblest.
1.
physically weak, as from age or sickness; frail.
2.
weak intellectually or morally:
a feeble mind.
3.
lacking in volume, loudness, brightness, distinctness, etc.:
a feeble voice; feeble light.
4.
lacking in force, strength, or effectiveness:
feeble resistance; feeble arguments.
Origin
1125-1175
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
Synonyms
1. See weak.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for feebleness
  • The world's biggest democracy is coy to the point of feebleness in promoting its values abroad.
  • He knocked the rich, but knocked the poor too for their feebleness.
  • They are essentially autocracies, given the feebleness of corporate governance.
British Dictionary definitions for feebleness

feeble

/ˈfiːbəl/
adjective
1.
lacking in physical or mental strength; frail; weak
2.
inadequate; unconvincing feeble excuses
3.
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
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Word Origin and History for feebleness
n.

c.1300, from feeble + -ness.

feeble

adj.

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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