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1 definition found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Weak \Weak\ (w[=e]k), adjective [Compar. {Weaker} (w[=e]k"[~e]r); superl. {Weakest}.] [OE. weik, Icel. veikr; akin to Sw. vek, Dan. veg soft, flexible, pliant, AS. w[=a]c weak, soft, pliant, D. week, G. weich, OHG. weih; all from the verb seen in Icel. v[imac]kja to turn, veer, recede, AS. w[imac]can to yield, give way, G. weichen, OHG. w[imac]hhan, akin to Skr. vij, and probably to E. week, L. vicis a change, turn, Gr. e'i'kein to yield, give way. [root]132. Cf. {Week}, {Wink}, verb (used without an object) {Vicissitude}.]

1. Wanting physical strength. Specifically: (a) Deficient in strength of body; feeble; infirm; sickly; debilitated; enfeebled; exhausted.

A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man. --Shak.

Weak with hunger, mad with love. --Dryden. (b) Not able to sustain a great weight, pressure, or strain; as, a weak timber; a weak rope. (c) Not firmly united or adhesive; easily broken or separated into pieces; not compact; as, a weak ship. (d) Not stiff; pliant; frail; soft; as, the weak stalk of a plant. (e) Not able to resist external force or onset; easily subdued or overcome; as, a weak barrier; as, a weak fortress. (f) Lacking force of utterance or sound; not sonorous; low; small; feeble; faint.

A voice not soft, weak, piping, and womanish. --Ascham. (g) Not thoroughly or abundantly impregnated with the usual or required ingredients, or with stimulating and nourishing substances; of less than the usual strength; as, weak tea, broth, or liquor; a weak decoction or solution; a weak dose of medicine. (h) Lacking ability for an appropriate function or office; as, weak eyes; a weak stomach; a weak magistrate; a weak regiment, or army.

2. Not possessing or manifesting intellectual, logical, moral, or political strength, vigor, etc. Specifically: (a) Feeble of mind; wanting discernment; lacking vigor; spiritless; as, a weak king or magistrate.

To think every thing disputable is a proof of a weak mind and captious temper. --Beattie.

Origen was never weak enough to imagine that there were two Gods. --Waterland. (b) Resulting from, or indicating, lack of judgment, discernment, or firmness; unwise; hence, foolish.

If evil thence ensue, She first his weak indulgence will accuse. --Milton. (c) Not having full confidence or conviction; not decided or confirmed; vacillating; wavering.

Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. --Rom. xiv. 1. (d) Not able to withstand temptation, urgency, persuasion, etc.; easily impressed, moved, or overcome; accessible; vulnerable; as, weak resolutions; weak virtue.

Guard thy heart On this weak side, where most our nature fails. --Addison. (e) Wanting in power to influence or bind; as, weak ties; a weak sense of honor of duty. (f) Not having power to convince; not supported by force of reason or truth; unsustained; as, a weak argument or case. "Convinced of his weak arguing." --Milton.

A case so weak . . . hath much persisted in. --Hooker. (g) Wanting in point or vigor of expression; as, a weak sentence; a weak style. (h) Not prevalent or effective, or not felt to be prevalent; not potent; feeble. "Weak prayers." --Shak. (i) Lacking in elements of political strength; not wielding or having authority or energy; deficient in the resources that are essential to a ruler or nation; as, a weak monarch; a weak government or state.

I must make fair weather yet awhile, Till Henry be more weak, and I more strong. --Shak. (k) (Stock Exchange) Tending towards lower prices; as, a weak market.

3. (Gram.) (a) Pertaining to, or designating, a verb which forms its preterit (imperfect) and past participle by adding to the present the suffix -ed, -d, or the variant form -t; as in the verbs abash, abashed; abate, abated; deny, denied; feel, felt. See {Strong}, 19 (a) . (b) Pertaining to, or designating, a noun in Anglo-Saxon, etc., the stem of which ends in -n. See {Strong}, 19 (b) .

4. (Stock Exchange) Tending toward a lower price or lower prices; as, wheat is weak; a weak market. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

5. (Card Playing) Lacking in good cards; deficient as to number or strength; as, a hand weak in trumps. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

6. (Photog.) Lacking contrast; as, a weak negative. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

Note: Weak is often used in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, weak-eyed, weak-handed, weak-hearted, weak-minded, weak-spirited, and the like.

{Weak conjugation} (Gram.), the conjugation of weak verbs; -- called also {new conjugation}, or {regular conjugation}, and distinguished from the {old conjugation}, or {irregular conjugation}.

{Weak declension} (Anglo-Saxon Gram.), the declension of weak nouns; also, one of the declensions of adjectives.

{Weak side}, the side or aspect of a person's character or disposition by which he is most easily affected or influenced; weakness; infirmity.

{weak sore} or {weak ulcer} (Med.), a sore covered with pale, flabby, sluggish granulations.

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