1 [freyl]
adjective, frailer, frailest.
having delicate health; not robust; weak: My grandfather is rather frail now.
easily broken or destroyed; fragile.
morally weak; easily tempted.
Older Slang: Sometimes Offensive. a term used to refer to a girl or woman.

1300–50; Middle English frail(e), frel(e) < Old French < Latin fragilis fragile

frailly, adverb
frailness, noun

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.

1, 2. sturdy.

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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
frail1 (freɪl)
1.  physically weak and delicate
2.  fragile: a frail craft
3.  easily corrupted or tempted
[C13: from Old French frele, from Latin fragilis, fragile]

frail2 (freɪl)
1.  a rush basket for figs or raisins
2.  a quantity of raisins or figs equal to between 50 and 75 pounds
[C13: from Old French fraiel, of uncertain origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-14c., "morally weak," from O.Fr. frele, from L. 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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