Definition of foible in English:

foible

noun

  • 1A minor weakness or eccentricity in someone's character.

    ‘they have to tolerate each other's little foibles’
    • ‘He is certainly an avuncular figure, more paternal than patriarchal, yet even his faults and foibles are masculine in character.’
    • ‘Eca de Queiros exposed the vices and foibles of the middle classes in Portugal and the Maias is a classic example of this.’
    • ‘Centre Court samples the understated foibles of the Henman character’
    • ‘The promising premise soon falters, with the striking central character's foibles never really fully realized or explained.’
    • ‘They have foibles and desires and worries and dislikes.’
    • ‘Both characters have their foibles and strengths; both have suffered greatly; both deserve the house and a second chance.’
    • ‘Men of large vision often display outsized foibles as well.’
    • ‘As humans, we have numerous foibles and/or weaknesses.’
    • ‘Isherwood's bright-eyed alertness, his lack of malice, his genial delight in the foibles of others all make him lovable.’
    • ‘It is three pages long and goes into quite a lot of detail covering all of James' little eccentricities and foibles.’
    • ‘Throughout the work, he debunks theories and rituals, and pokes sly fun at other writers and the foibles of his own characters.’
    • ‘To read him, one feels, is to know him, foibles and all.’
    • ‘Do you think they just have a screenwriting computer programme that builds in all these character flaws and foibles?’
    • ‘And she amuses us with the foibles of human characters we too can recognize as belonging to the world around us.’
    • ‘These foibles include our urge to chase the latest investment fad and doggedly hanging on to losers.’
    • ‘The CEOs of underperforming companies do tend to develop all kinds of foibles, tics, and unpleasant mannerisms.’
    • ‘The film is likewise unsympathetic to their foibles.’
    • ‘Character faults and foibles surface slowly and are dealt with compassionately.’
    • ‘But such foibles are useful only if they are exploited.’
    • ‘Sometimes human foibles are key in drug discovery.’
    weakness, weak point, weak spot, failing, shortcoming, flaw, imperfection, blemish, fault, defect, frailty, infirmity, inadequacy, limitation
    View synonyms
  • 2Fencing
    The part of a sword blade from the middle to the point.

    Compare with forte
    • ‘He parries with his foible when a feint is close but his real defense is his feet.’
    • ‘This technique begins at the instant when the foible of the adversary's blade is against the forte of your blade.’
    • ‘The principle of defence, being the opposition of forte to foible, is still applicable today.’
    • ‘Again footwork is often required to create the correct distance to allow you to parry the foible of the attacking blade.’

Origin

Late 16th century (as an adjective in the sense ‘feeble’): from obsolete French, in Old French fieble (see feeble). Both noun senses also formerly occurred as senses of the word feeble and all date from the 17th century.

Pronunciation

foible

/ˈfɔɪb(ə)l/