Definition of weakness in US English:



  • 1The state or condition of lacking strength.

    ‘the country's weakness in international dealings’
    • ‘It has been run by two-party or three-party coalitions, with all the instability and weakness that brings.’
    • ‘Yet it undertakes this task in conditions of profound economic weakness.’
    • ‘This is the same bacterial nerve toxin that causes botulism, an illness which causes muscle weakness or paralysis.’
    • ‘The result is muscle weakness that is especially pronounced in the face, arms, and legs.’
    • ‘Conversely, deprivation produces feelings of inferiority, weakness and helplessness.’
    • ‘A prolonged admission is likely to result in profound weakness and physical disability.’
    • ‘Such conditions can lead to dizziness, weakness, lethargy and confusion.’
    • ‘My life had dissolved into illness, weakness, pain and exhaustion.’
    • ‘Myasthenia gravis is a chronic, autoimmune disorder which results in progressive skeletal muscle weakness.’
    • ‘Lastly there may be a stage of exhaustion, tiredness and weakness.’
    • ‘This resulted in several long-range attacks which spotted defensive weakness and exploited it.’
    • ‘Other symptoms include general weakness, a weak cry and various neurological disorders.’
    • ‘The nerve condition is characterized by weakness and quick fatigue of facial muscles.’
    • ‘The country's economic weakness resulted in a weakening of its military capability.’
    • ‘That is to say it did not stem from any inherent infirmity or weakness or deficiency.’
    • ‘The problem, which results in instant weakness, first struck him last season.’
    • ‘Hecate's words faltered and she trembled with weakness and exhaustion.’
    • ‘Critics will no doubt mock the idea, asserting perhaps that it is a sign of weakness or even desperation.’
    • ‘He knows our human condition, our weakness and frailty, even better than we do.’
    • ‘These conditions continue to be seen as a sign of weakness rather than illness.’
    frailty, feebleness, enfeeblement, puniness, fragility, delicateness, delicacy, weakliness
    spinelessness, timidity, cravenness, cowardliness, pusillanimity, timorousness, indecisiveness, indecision, irresolution, ineffectuality, uselessness, ineptness, ineptitude, effeteness, meekness, tameness, powerlessness, ineffectiveness, impotence, faint-heartedness
    inadequacy, defectiveness, faultiness, deficiency, imperfection
    unconvincingness, untenability, tenuousness, implausibility, unsatisfactoriness, slightness, poverty, inadequacy, thinness, transparency
    indistinctness, muffledness, mutedness, faintness, lowness, low intensity
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    1. 1.1 A quality or feature regarded as a disadvantage or fault.
      ‘you must recognize your product's strengths and weaknesses’
      • ‘Its lack of formality was now depicted as a weakness, not a strength.’
      • ‘Then, as life goes on, you learn to understand and accept that person's faults and weaknesses.’
      • ‘The objective of the event is to explore the strengths and weaknesses of franchising as a source of new business opportunities.’
      • ‘His other key weakness is his inability to detach himself from his players and put them under pressure.’
      • ‘You need to make sure that the system responds adequately to any faults and weaknesses that have been reported.’
      • ‘Much like each of us, candidates for the Presidency have their own strengths and weaknesses.’
      • ‘So, what are Clark's strengths and weaknesses, and how can she win back voters?’
      • ‘This will identify the strengths and weaknesses of the business and will guide decisions on the best way forward.’
      • ‘The more they sang, the more apparent their individual strengths and weaknesses became.’
      • ‘There are actually numerous ways to intercept packets in Windows, each with their own disadvantages and weaknesses.’
      • ‘It now has more strengths than weaknesses and ‘has come a long way’ since 1998.’
      • ‘In the report the school was praised for its success in addressing weaknesses highlighted in the last report.’
      • ‘The commission is visiting all the candidates before writing a report on their strengths and weaknesses.’
      • ‘We know each other's faults and weaknesses and complement each other.’
      • ‘In short, Scotland's economic strengths outweigh its weaknesses.’
      • ‘It will identify the financial strengths and weaknesses of your system.’
      • ‘American efforts to address these issues reveal both the strengths and weaknesses of our society.’
      • ‘So we all bring to the table a variety of experiences, strengths and weaknesses.’
      • ‘Who is your competition, and what are their strengths or weaknesses?’
      • ‘You are the same person with the same weaknesses and the same strengths.’
      • ‘You know, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses, our faults and our abilities.’
      fault, flaw, defect, deficiency, weak point, weak spot, failing, foible, shortcoming, imperfection, blemish, achilles heel, chink in one's armour
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    2. 1.2 A person or thing that one is unable to resist or likes excessively.
      ‘you're his one weakness—he should never have met you’
      • ‘Puppies are my one weakness. I love puppies!’
      • ‘French fries are a weakness of mine and I have a hard time saying no to any offering of crisp, golden potato sticks.’
      • ‘I’m normally not much of a collector but books are a weakness of mine.’
    3. 1.3weakness forin singular A self-indulgent liking for.
      ‘he had a great weakness for Scotch whisky’
      • ‘I invest quite a lot of money for my children, but I also have a definite weakness for shoes - I can't resist them.’
      • ‘I've always had a weakness for the company of good-looking men.’
      fondness, liking, love, passion, partiality, preference, penchant, soft spot, bent, predisposition, predilection, leaning, inclination, proneness, proclivity, disposition, taste, eye
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