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[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 foibles
  • Apple's new phone does so many things so well, and so pleasurably, that you tend to forgive its foibles.
  • The authors warn that the crash will happen again unless governments find ways of compensating for these foibles through policy.
  • Health care workers are subject to the same human foibles as the rest of the population.
  • It does so many things so well, and so pleasurably, that you tend to forgive its foibles.
  • We could forgive these foibles if only extra utility had been added.
  • For all its foibles and frustrations, there is a genuine and unique connection between my actions and the result on screen.
  • When times were good, they turned a blind eye to his foibles.
  • Despite all that, no one is judged and no one is called on their foibles.
  • It's bleeding edge tech that expects you to learn its quirks and foibles.
  • When you spend that much time in a small professional setting, you end up discussing the foibles of those around you.
British Dictionary definitions for foibles


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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for foibles



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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