One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Not physically or mentally strong, especially through age or illness.
frail, weak, feeble, enfeebled, weakly, debilitated, decrepit, bedriddenView synonyms
- ‘Soon the sick and infirm from all over the country were arriving at his door in Clonmore.’
- ‘Ballinrobe has been seeking a home for the elderly infirm since 1971 and an announcement last year that money had been allocated for the purchase of a site raised expectations.’
- ‘David Rigby had worked at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield for six years when, one night in June, he sneaked into the ward where the infirm pensioner was bedridden.’
- ‘Most of the camp's best defenders were absent, out on a hunting trip; the population mainly comprised women, children, and aged or infirm men.’
- ‘Furthermore, the home was failing to create an environment where mentally ill and physically infirm people could properly be cared for and safely live alongside each other.’
- ‘There are also plans for an eight-bed care facility for elderly, mentally infirm residents, which will be run by Pembrokeshire County Council.’
- ‘Norwegian scabies occurs predominantly in elderly, infirm, or immunosuppressed people and in those with mental illness.’
- ‘They have spent much of the past 48 hours trying to get the sick, trying to get the infirm, trying to get the elderly off this island.’
- ‘The firm also wants to build a new 60-bed nursing home with additional elderly, mentally infirm places.’
- ‘I intend to give a narrative verdict and my finding is that Mr Bamford died as a result of an attack by a mentally infirm individual.’
- ‘A constant core activity is humanitarian aid - providing medicine and care for the sick, transporting the infirm, buying bricks or roofing material to repair housing.’
- ‘The development will include an elderly and mentally infirm unit, and 55 residential flats on land adjacent to the cricket ground.’
- ‘This was a medieval religious foundation which, until the Reformation, had also provided a school for the sons of its members and almshouses for the sick and infirm.’
- ‘Well the sick and infirm crawled out of their beds to play this fine course, but of course they didn't play it very well.’
- ‘We'd rather believe that health care is all about healing the sick, helping the infirm and comforting the afflicted.’
- ‘The Windsor unit cares for seven residents who are mentally infirm and are suffering from Alzheimer's Disease or other types of dementia.’
- ‘Mentally and physically infirm, he stayed in the jail lobby for three days before anyone noticed him.’
- ‘One other category springs to mind - those who are too young, old, sick and infirm to move at all.’
- ‘There were not even stretchers or wheelchairs to carry the sick and infirm.’
- ‘Meanwhile, here's the story of a special smart couch for the sick or infirm that is designed to recognize who is sitting in it, and help them to perform various tasks.’
- 1.1archaic (of a person or their judgment) weak; irresolute.‘he was infirm of purpose’
- ‘A court cannot grant finality to a constitutionally infirm judgment.’
- ‘Keenly sensitive to these insults, Raglan had to grapple with a French command whose sense of purpose seemed infirm.’
- ‘Too distrustful to delegate his responsibility to his ministers, he was too infirm of will to strike out and follow a consistent course for himself.’
- ‘While standing for an expanded trade unionism the left has to carefully but firmly distinguish itself from their Congress' infirm vision.’
Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘weak, frail’): from Latin infirmus, from in- ‘not’ + firmus ‘firm’.
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