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[week-nis] /ˈwik nɪs/
the state or quality of being weak; lack of strength, firmness, vigor, or the like; feebleness.
an inadequate or defective quality, as in a person's character; slight fault or defect:
to show great sympathy for human weaknesses.
a self-indulgent liking or special fondness, as for a particular thing:
I've always had a weakness for the opera.
an object of special desire; something very difficult to resist:
Chocolates were her weakness.
Origin of weakness
1250-1300; Middle English weikenes. See weak, -ness
Related forms
nonweakness, noun
1. fragility. 2. flaw. See fault. 3. penchant, passion, hunger, appetite.
1. strength. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for weakness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In neither his father nor his mother was there any weakness, nor in the generations before them.

    White Fang Jack London
  • Making an effort to rise, he seemed surprised at his own weakness.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • She had been taught that love was always a weakness, and only too frequently a sin.

    Earl Hubert's Daughter Emily Sarah Holt
  • Be happy, and rejoice in your weakness—but turn now to the strong for strength.

  • He gave half an hour to the weakness of nature, and then he was all duty once more.

British Dictionary definitions for weakness


the state or quality of being weak
a deficiency or failing, as in a person's character
a self-indulgent fondness or liking: a weakness for chocolates
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 weakness

c.1300, "quality of being weak," from weak + -ness. Meaning "a disadvantage, vulnerability" is from 1590s. That of "self-indulgent fondness" is from 1712; meaning "thing for which one has an indulgent fondness" is from 1822.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with weakness


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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