From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishweakweak /wiːk/ ●●● S3 W2 adjective 1 physicalWEAK not physically strong The illness left her feeling weak. Poor light produces weak plants.be too weak to do something She’s too weak to feed herself.weak with/from Nina was weak with hunger. The animal was weak from loss of blood.weak heart/lungs etc My grandfather had a weak heart.2 likely to breakTBCTEC unable to support much weight a weak bridgetoo weak to do something The branch was too weak to support his weight.3 characterDECIDE easily influenced by other people – used to show disapproval a weak indecisive man4 without powerPOWER not having much power or influenceweak leader/ruler/king etc a weak and ineffective president The party was left weak and divided. The country is in a weak position economically.5 without interestEFFECTIVE without the power to interest or amuse people The play is well acted but the plot is weak. a weak joke6 without energy done without energy or confidence He managed a weak smile.7 not good at doing somethingBAD AT not good at a particular skill or subject, or in a particular area of activity or knowledgeweak in New Zealand was weak in defence.weak on She speaks quite fluently but she’s weak on grammar. Be honest about your weak points (=your faults or the things you do not do well).8 moneyPEBF not financially successfulweak currency/economy etc The pound was weak against the dollar.9 argument/idea not likely to make people believe that something is true or right She’s washing her hair? That sounds like a weak excuse! There are some weak points in her argument. The defence lawyer clearly knew that his case was weak.10 drinkDFDLIQUID weak tea, beer etc contains a lot of water and has little taste opp strong11 light/soundCCC difficult to see or hear syn faint a weak radio signal He had only a weak light to see by.12 → weak points/spots13 → weak at the knees14 → weak moment15 → the weak/weakest link16 → weak verb17 → weak consonant/syllable —weakly adverb ‘I’m sorry, ’ she said, smiling weakly. He sank down weakly beside her.THESAURUSnot physically strongweak not physically strong, sometimes because you are illTom’s had flu and he’s still feeling weak.The doctors said she was too weak to have an operation.He suffered constantly from a weak chest.frail weak and thin, especially because you are olda frail 85-year-old ladyMy grandfather’s becoming quite frail now.shaky feeling weak in your legs and only able to walk slowly and unsteadilyWhen I came out of hospital I was a bit shaky for a while.puny /ˈpjuːni/ especially disapproving small, thin, and looking very weakhis puny white armsHe was a puny little boy who was often bullied at school.feeble especially written weak and unable to do much because you are very ill, very old or very youngFor a week she was too feeble to get out of bed.a tiny, feeble babydelicate weak and often becoming ill easilya delicate childShe had rather a delicate constitution (=her body easily became ill).infirm formal weak or ill for a long time, especially because you are olda residential home for people who are elderly and infirmThere are special facilities for wheelchair users and infirm guests.malnourished formal weak or ill because you have not had enough good food to eatHalf a million people there are severely malnourished.The organization provides emergency feeding for malnourished children.likely to breakweak unable to support much weight, and likely to breakThe foundations of the building are rather weak.an old chair with weak legsfragile made of a thin material that is easy to break or damage – used when something needs to be handled carefullya fragile china vaseBe careful of those glasses – they’re very fragile.delicate easy to break or damage – used especially about soft materials, skin etcWash delicate fabrics separately.This soap is good for delicate skin.flimsy not well-made from strong materials and so easily damaged – used about furniture, houses etca flimsy plastic tableThis keyboard’s very cheap but it’s a bit flimsy.rickety /ˈrɪkəti/ in very bad condition and likely to break – used about a building, piece of furniture, vehicle etca rickety old bicycleHe lived in a rickety hut on the beach for several years.
Examples from the Corpusweak• Recent elections have left Christian Democrats weak.• The actors are good, but the plot is weak.• Be careful - that ladder looks a little weak.• Do you like your tea strong or weak?• Technology shares, weak all day, ended near their lows.• Some critics have considered it to be too weak and idiosyncratic to carry responsibility for major public and social services.• The more lethargic, weak and ill the infant, the greater is the urgency and need for expert advice.• He came across as a weak and indecisive leader.• Unfortunately, our leader was a weak and indecisive man.• These policies failed because the government was weak and ineffective.• One of the men was ill and very weak and would have to be brought out on a stretcher.• Fools rush on war to make a weaker country their slave.• Oil companies fell in response to weaker crude oil and natural gas prices.• a weak excuse• The soldiers were weak from hunger and exhaustion.• the weak glow of the dashboard lights• I can't go running - I've got a weak heart.• a weak, indecisive principal• In the weak light inside the bus Tom couldn't see to read.• The dollar was weaker on Monday.• a weak radio signal• These very weak stones are rich in water, which is bound up in both hydrated salts and clay minerals.• Martin is a weak swimmer.• Betty was too weak to get out of bed.• The child was too weak to undergo a transplant operation.• In 1949-50 China was a weak, vulnerable country devastated by war.• She felt weak with emotion at the sight of him.weak heart/lungs etc• Because our usual enzymes can not tackle this large molecule, its presence may cause problems for people with weak hearts.• He also learned that Sir Charles believed these supernatural stories, and that he had a weak heart.• However, this often happens with deaths which are caused by weak hearts.• The nymph attempted a final arabesque but the effort proved too much for her weak heart.• My grandfather had a weak heart, and he died in this way.• A weak heart, another Vandervort inheritance, like the table and the portrait.• Sir Charles' weak heart had failed, and this had caused his death.too weak to do something• She was too weak to get out of bed by herself, but she might be calling Lester to help her.• He threw out no sounding parties too weak to guarantee their own safety, and he lost none of them.• First the active male adults were fed because if they were too weak to hunt, nobody would eat.• Industrialists reacted favourably to the measures, although many considered them too weak to improve competitiveness and cool the economy.• For a moment he felt weak and helpless, too weak to move.• One afternoon she realized that her friend was too weak to prepare his own meals.• A few cuts of sun break through the roof and walls but once there they are too weak to shift for themselves.• They'd been out of action because the church's spire was too weak to support them.weak position• A desperate seller is in a weak position.• It might seem, then, that the anti-realist is in a peculiarly weak position.• Parliament, however, has a far weaker position.• In fact the western Empire was probably in a much weaker position after 406 than the sources suggest.• Khrushchev was in the weaker position at home, since Eisenhower was almost immune to criticism, especially on military matters.• De Gaulle needed the Big Lie to help build up his otherwise weak position in the eyes of the allies.• Politically such change will almost certainly reduce even further the already weak position of high need interests.• The Bruins appear to have strengthened their weakest position, the secondary.weak smile• Bob gives me a weak smile.• She gave me a weak smile and a fluttery little wave.• Instead he gave a weak smile and fingered the locket, through the cloth of his lapels.• He gave me a weak smile and hiked his chest protector up to his nose.• He gives me a weak smile, the smile of a ma1n who knows he has been a fool.weak points• What are his strong and weak points?• We examined our weak points, and turned them into strengths.• However, in most of these, effusive approval is showered upon her, and her weak points are minimized.• Positive interpretation of weaknesses Be honest about assessing your weak points as well.• Scattered in pursuit, they provided perfect weak points for our counterattack.• And for my weaker points I put that um, communication, hot tempered, and I am very stressful.• That is why molecular studies designed to find the weak points in the viral attack must continue, Trono said.• He had not dealt with the bishop's weak points nor, according to Hooker, had he carried the audience with him.weak currency/economy etc• It builds in and reinforces their dominance, but it damages the weaker economies.• Rates may continue to fall, but earnings will have a tough time climbing in a weak economy.• The debt burden is weighing more and more heavily on the weakest economies.• While governments dither, funds leave those countries with weak currencies and go to those countries with strong currencies.• This could not support weak currencies indefinitely.• A weaker economy means inflation is less likely to eat into the value of bonds' interest and principal payments.• Attention on world money markets then switched to the next weakest currency - the pound.• That will lead them to seek weaker currencies to boost their exports, traders said.weak points• What are his strong and weak points?• We examined our weak points, and turned them into strengths.• However, in most of these, effusive approval is showered upon her, and her weak points are minimized.• Positive interpretation of weaknesses Be honest about assessing your weak points as well.• Scattered in pursuit, they provided perfect weak points for our counterattack.• And for my weaker points I put that um, communication, hot tempered, and I am very stressful.• That is why molecular studies designed to find the weak points in the viral attack must continue, Trono said.• He had not dealt with the bishop's weak points nor, according to Hooker, had he carried the audience with him.weak light• Mrs Vanya turned on a weak light, and motioned for me to sit.