Definition of frailty in US English:



  • 1The condition of being weak and delicate.

    ‘the increasing frailty of old age’
    • ‘Challenge the system with continuing high unemployment or the need to create a consensus when none exists, as over the treaty, and suddenly its frailty is exposed.’
    • ‘The frailty of memory in general is an important theme, but how an epidemic of that proportion gets virtually wiped out of the collective memory is still a mystery.’
    • ‘The frailty of the government's authority was underscored on the road north, when we were stopped at a roadblock by a group of men with assault rifles.’
    • ‘By the end of the decade there were few speaking as they had been only ten years earlier of US economic frailty or an American inability to compete effectively.’
    • ‘Perhaps so, but the great attraction of sport is that, still in 2001, it holds a mirror to the human condition in all its strength and frailty.’
    • ‘The most important safety concern is their frailty and consequent vulnerability to personal injury or death in a crash.’
    • ‘Every once in a while a boxer dies in the ring or a soccer player collapses on the field, and such tragedies make us acutely aware of our own frailty.’
    • ‘Some things about skiing - gravity, the inconvenient frailty of bone and sinew - never change.’
    • ‘This gradual loss has been tied to protein deficiency, lack of exercise, and increased frailty among the elderly.’
    • ‘Historically the body and its frailty were much more difficult to escape than in our own age.’
    • ‘As it transpired, the team only needed three to win and while their manager must fret over his side's sudden frailty, he again noted that it is a rich source of entertainment for the rest of us.’
    • ‘That ageing is an independent contributor is not surprising, because frailty increases with age, raising the risk of falls and failure of other organ systems.’
    • ‘However, those hopes were undermined and then ultimately shattered by a combination of injuries and growing defensive frailty.’
    • ‘Infatuated with my tiny son, I became fixated on his frailty: by what the world would do to him, if the world were given half a chance.’
    • ‘As if to emphasise his credentials, he has been at it again this week, hauling himself into contention at the Masters with a familiar mixture of fearlessness and frailty.’
    • ‘Despite her age and increasing frailty she was out on the streets last year in her wheelchair, raising more than £50.’
    • ‘He seemed to me to be really old, but even in death to be lacking in that common frailty I tended to view all the elderly as possessing.’
    • ‘The beauty of a living thing springs directly from its frailty, its coming and its going.’
    • ‘He excels at writing about sex and sexuality, which he describes with a graceful wonder that encompasses love's frailty and its brutality at once.’
    • ‘The home visiting service affords benefit to those who are unable to leave their home, due to frailty, disability, illness, or the effects of undergoing cancer treatments.’
    infirmity, infirmness, weakness, weakliness, feebleness, enfeeblement, debility, incapacity, impairment, indisposition
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    1. 1.1 Weakness in character or morals.
      ‘all drama begins with human frailty’
      ‘you're too self-righteous to see your own frailties’
      • ‘The problem with priests is that they are human and suffer the same frailties and imperfections as other humans such as myself.’
      • ‘Edward detailed his own set of insecurities and human frailties.’
      • ‘A young man, with all the usual weaknesses and frailties of ego.’
      • ‘It's even more difficult to admit we're human and all our frailties that come along with it.’
      • ‘But those who understand the frailties of human nature will find it easier to suspend disbelief, and even sympathise a bit.’
      • ‘It may not have been calculated, but the effect of talking about drink and displaying his frailty was to pick him out from the political crowd as if by a personal spotlight.’
      • ‘It's the foibles and frailties of the characters we love the most.’
      • ‘But the fact he also had real human frailties made him a greater man than was realised by those who could not see through the fog of adulation.’
      • ‘It's in complete disregard of the frailties of human nature.’
      • ‘Whatever he is, we certainly do not expect such frailty and inability to act on one's own from a generation on whom the future of our country rests.’
      • ‘And it reveals the character's human frailties, without justifying or condemning his actions.’
      • ‘Like a little plumped up raisin, he exudes vanity, smugness and frailty and desolation in equal measure.’
      • ‘Its characters offer human frailties, weaknesses and moral dilemmas that draw us in.’
      • ‘Ultimately, Sophia's frailty gives way to reason.’
      • ‘As we will see, his works display an acute awareness of human faults and frailties and his writing exhibits a vividness and an elegance that makes it a pleasure to read.’
      • ‘He also succeeds in bringing to life the American founders not as gods, but as people with human foibles and frailties.’
      • ‘His performance combines brazen ruthlessness with charm, wit, and clear human frailties.’
      • ‘It was our frailty that demanded social cohesion.’
      • ‘The play, written in lucid verse, portrays a human being who transcended human frailties.’
      • ‘Vanity and bravery rarely come this distilled in real people: our courage and frailty arrive in random combination.’
      weakness, susceptibility, impressionability, vulnerability, fallibility
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Middle English (in the sense ‘weakness in morals’): from Old French frailete, from Latin fragilitas, from fragilis (see fragile).