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

    Compare with forte
    • ‘Again footwork is often required to create the correct distance to allow you to parry the foible of the attacking blade.’
    • ‘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.’

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

/ˈfɔɪbəl//ˈfoibəl/