Weak (?), a. [Compar. Weaker (?); superl. Weakest.] [OE. weik, Icel. veikr; akin to Sw. vek, Dan. veg soft, flexible, pliant, AS. wac weak, soft, pliant, D. week, G. weich, OHG. weih; all from the verb seen in Icel. vikja to turn, veer, recede, AS. wican to yield, give way, G. weichen, OHG. wihhan, akin to Skr. vij, and probably to E. week, L. vicis a change, turn, Gr. to yield, give way. 132. Cf. Week, Wink, v. i. 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).

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, ∨ regular, conjugation, and distinguished from the old, 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 soreulcer Med., a sore covered with pale, flabby, sluggish granulations.

 

© Webster 1913.


Weak (?), v. t. & i. [Cf. AS. wcan. wacian. See Weak, a.]

To make or become weak; to weaken.

[R.]

Never to seek weaking variety. Marston.

 

© Webster 1913.


Weak (?), a.

1. (Stock Exchange)

Tending toward a lower price or lower prices; as, wheat is weak; a weak market.

2. (Card Playing)

Lacking in good cards; deficient as to number or strength; as, a hand weak in trumps.

3. (Photog.)

Lacking contrast; as, a weak negative.

 

© Webster 1913

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