weakness

The point where something fails to work properly or to hold up is its weakness. If a building crumbles in a storm, it's probably because of a weakness — a flaw or defect — in its structure.

Weakness can indicate a physical weakness, like a chair with one wobbly leg, or flaw in an idea, like a plan for a lemonade stand that doesn't include any cups for serving the lemonade. People can show weakness too, when they are helpless to take action. The origin of weakness can be traced all the way back to its Proto-Indo-European root of weik, "to bend."

Definitions of weakness
  1. noun
    a flaw or weak point
    synonyms: failing
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    types:
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    inadequacy, insufficiency
    a lack of competence
    fatigue
    used of materials (especially metals) in a weakened state caused by long stress
    flaw
    defect or weakness in a person's character
    hamartia, tragic flaw
    the character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall
    type of:
    imperfection, imperfectness
    the state or an instance of being imperfect
  2. noun
    the property of lacking physical or mental strength; liability to failure under pressure or stress or strain
    “his weakness increased as he became older”
    “the weakness of the span was overlooked until it collapsed”
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    Antonyms:
    strength
    the property of being physically or mentally strong
    types:
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    littleness, smallness
    the property of having relatively little strength or vigor
    adynamia
    lack of strength or vigor (especially from illness)
    feebleness, tenuity
    the quality of lacking intensity or substance
    faintness
    the property of being without strength
    flimsiness, shoddiness
    the property of weakness by virtue of careless construction
    delicacy, fragility
    lack of physical strength
    insubstantiality
    lack of solid substance and strength
    attenuation
    the property of something that has been weakened or reduced in thickness or density
    enervation
    lack of vitality
    fatigability
    susceptibility to fatigue; a tendency to get tired or lose strength
    inanition, lassitude, lethargy, slackness
    weakness characterized by a lack of vitality or energy
    soft spot, weak part, weak spot
    a place of especial vulnerability
    vulnerability
    susceptibility to injury or attack
    Achilles' heel
    a seemingly small but actual mortal weakness
    jugular
    a vital part that is vulnerable to attack
    underbelly
    the quality of being weak or unprotected
    defencelessness, defenselessness, unprotectedness
    the property of being helpless in the face of attack
    assailability
    vulnerability to forceful attack
    destructibility
    vulnerability to destruction
    breakability, fragility, frangibility, frangibleness
    quality of being easily damaged or destroyed
    exposure
    vulnerability to the elements; to the action of heat or cold or wind or rain
    type of:
    property
    a basic or essential attribute shared by all members of a class
  3. noun
    powerlessness revealed by an inability to act
    “in spite of their weakness the group remains active”
    synonyms: helplessness, impuissance
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    type of:
    impotence, impotency, powerlessness
    the quality of lacking strength or power; being weak and feeble
  4. noun
    a penchant for something even though it might not be good for you
    “he has a weakness for chocolate”
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    type of:
    penchant, predilection, preference, taste
    a strong liking
  5. noun
    the condition of being financially weak
    “the weakness of the dollar against the yen”
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    Antonyms:
    strength
    the condition of financial success
    type of:
    bad luck, ill luck, misfortune, tough luck
    an unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes
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