Definition of weak adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//wiːk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//wiːk//
    (weaker, weakest) Poor health, Taste of food
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    not physically strong
  1. 1  not physically strong She is still weak after her illness. His legs felt weak. She suffered from a weak heart. See related entries: Poor health
  2. likely to break
  3. 2  that cannot support a lot of weight; likely to break That bridge is too weak for heavy traffic.
  4. without power
  5. 3  easy to influence; not having much power a weak and cowardly man In a weak moment (= when I was easily persuaded) I said she could borrow the car. a weak leader The unions have always been weak in this industry.
  6. poor/sick people
  7. 4the weak noun [plural] people who are poor, sick or without power
  8. currency/economy
  9. 5  not financially strong or successful a weak currency The economy is very weak.
  10. not good at something
  11. 6  not good at something a weak team weak in something I was always weak in the science subjects.
  12. not convincing
  13. 7  that people are not likely to believe or be persuaded by synonym unconvincing weak arguments I enjoyed the movie but I thought the ending was very weak.
  14. hard to see/hear
  15. 8  not easily seen or heard a weak light/signal/sound
  16. without enthusiasm
  17. 9done without enthusiasm or energy a weak smile He made a weak attempt to look cheerful.
  18. liquid
  19. 10  a weak liquid contains a lot of water weak tea See related entries: Taste of food
  20. point/spot
  21. 11  weak point/spot the part of a person’s character, an argument, etc. that is easy to attack or criticize The team's weak points are in defence. He knew her weak spot where Steve was concerned.
  22. grammar
  23. 12 a weak verb forms the past tense and past participle by adding a regular ending and not by changing a vowel. In English this is done by adding -d, -ed or -t (for example walk, walked).
  24. phonetics
  25. 13 (of the pronunciation of some words) used when there is no stress on the word. For example, the weak form of and is/ən/ or /n/, as in bread and butter/bred n bʌtə(r)/. opposite strong
  26. Word OriginOld English wāc ‘pliant’, ‘of little worth’, ‘not steadfast’, reinforced in Middle English by Old Norse veikr, from a Germanic base meaning ‘yield, give way’.Extra examples He was weak with hunger. He’s weak in English. Her legs felt suddenly weak. She was weak from shock. She’s rather weak at languages. The essay was a bit weak on detail. The judge decided the evidence was inherently weak and inconsistent. When the spasm passed, it left him weak and sweating. The case for the prosecution was rather weak. The weak winter sunlight spread across the lake. weak arguments/​evidenceIdioms
    the spirit is willing (but the flesh is weak)
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    (humorous, saying) you intend to do good things but you are too lazy, weak or busy to actually do them
    (informal) hardly able to stand because of emotion, fear, illness, etc. His sudden smile made her go weak at the knees. See related entries: Fear, Being ill
    the weak link (in the chain)
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    the point at which a system or an organization is most likely to fail She went straight for the one weak link in the chain of his argument.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: weak