"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[foi-buh l] /ˈfɔɪ bəl/
a minor weakness or failing of character; slight flaw or defect:
an all-too-human foible.
the weaker part of a sword blade, between the middle and the point (opposed to forte).
Origin of foible
1640-50; < French, obsolete form of faible feeble
1. frailty, quirk, crotchet, eccentricity, peculiarity. See fault.
1. strength. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for foible
  • Her decision seems to have been tolerated as a personal foible and a matter for gossip.
  • Both fly-fishing and writing abound with foible and reward.
  • It denies the existence of fear and greed and every human grace and foible.
  • If your recommender is moderately well known and people know that she has this foible, you are still fine.
  • His drinking was not something to admire, and it was not a charming foible.
  • They handily outmaneuvered their naïve prey, succeeding in recording every foible.
British Dictionary definitions for foible


a slight peculiarity or minor weakness; idiosyncrasy
the most vulnerable part of a sword's blade, from the middle to the tip Compare forte1 (sense 2)
Word Origin
C17: from obsolete French, from obsolete adj: feeble
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 foible

1640s, "weak point of a sword blade" (contrasted to forte), from French foible (n.), from obsolete foible (adj.) "weak," from Old French foible "feeble," dissimilated from Lain flebilis (see feeble). Extended sense of "weak point of character" is first recorded 1670s. Related: Foibles.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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