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frail1

[freyl] /freɪl/
adjective, frailer, frailest.
1.
having delicate health; not robust; weak:
My grandfather is rather frail now.
2.
easily broken or destroyed; fragile.
3.
morally weak; easily tempted.
noun
4.
Older Slang: Sometimes Offensive. a term used to refer to a girl or woman.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English frail(e), frel(e) < Old French < Latin fragilis fragile
Related forms
frailly, adverb
frailness, noun
Synonyms
1, 2. feeble; breakable, frangible. Frail, brittle, fragile imply a delicacy or weakness of substance or construction. Frail applies particularly to health and immaterial things: a frail constitution; frail hopes. Brittle implies a hard material that snaps or breaks to pieces easily: brittle as glass. Fragile implies that the object must be handled carefully to avoid breakage or damage: fragile bric-a-brac.
Antonyms
1, 2. sturdy.
Usage note
This term is sometimes perceived as insulting or condescending when used to refer to a woman, since it reinforces the stereotype of a weak female.

frail2

[freyl] /freɪl/
noun
1.
a flexible basket made of rushes, used especially for dried fruits, as dates, figs, or raisins.
2.
a certain quantity of raisins, about 75 pounds (34 kg), contained in such a basket.
Origin
1300-50; Middle English frayel, fraelle < Old French frayel < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for frail
  • We worry she's too frail to make it through the weekend.
  • Perhaps it's a way of saying that while your prose is solid, your argument is frail.
  • But despite the athletic feat of these intrepid travelers, their existence is a frail one.
  • The tyrant cannot afford to become stooped, frail, and gray.
  • The seemingly frail balloon proved remarkably durable.
  • The characters who don't share her experiences of constant dread and fear of the future turn out, ultimately, to be more frail.
  • Tells about a mild heart condition which left him frail in later years.
  • Travel and reading allowed him to collect a frail library of experience.
  • Life is complicated, the options of the marketplace are numerous, and the human intellect is frail.
  • He was physically frail, and there's strong evidence that he committed suicide.
British Dictionary definitions for frail

frail1

/freɪl/
adjective
1.
physically weak and delicate
2.
fragile: a frail craft
3.
easily corrupted or tempted
Derived Forms
frailly, adverb
frailness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French frele, from Latin fragilis, fragile

frail2

/freɪl/
noun
1.
a rush basket for figs or raisins
2.
a quantity of raisins or figs equal to between 50 and 75 pounds
Word Origin
C13: from Old French fraiel, of uncertain origin
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 frail
adj.

mid-14c., "morally weak," from Old French fraile "weak, frail, sickly, infirm" (Modern French frêle), from Latin fragilis "easily broken" (see fragility). Sense of "liable to break" is first recorded in English late 14c. The U.S. slang noun meaning "a woman" is attested from 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for frail

frail

noun

A woman, esp a young woman: in persuading frails to divulge what they know (1905+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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