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Frail Definition and Meaning

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Urooj Arif — Published on May 15, 2024
Frail refers to something or someone very weak, delicate, or easily broken. e.g., The frail branches snapped under the weight of the snow.

Frail Definitions

Physically weak and delicate.
After her illness, she was too frail to walk without support.
Easily broken or damaged.
The frail cup shattered as soon as it hit the floor.
Morally or emotionally weak.
He showed a frail determination that didn't convince anyone.
Insufficient or inadequate.
They made do with a frail supply of food.
Of a relationship, easily disrupted or broken.
Their friendship was too frail to withstand the argument.
Physically weak or delicate
An invalid's frail body.
In frail health.
Easily broken or destroyed; fragile
A flower with a frail stem.
Not strong or substantial; slight
A frail voice.
Evidence too frail to stand up in court.
Easily led astray; morally weak.
A rush basket for holding fruit, especially dried fruit.
The quantity of fruit, such as raisins or figs, that such a basket can hold.
Easily broken physically; not firm or durable; liable to fail and perish.
Weak; infirm.
(medical) In an infirm state leading one to be easily subject to disease or other health problems, especially regarding the elderly.
Mentally fragile.
Liable to fall from virtue or be led into sin; not strong against temptation; weak in resolution; unchaste.
A girl.
A basket made of rushes, used chiefly to hold figs and raisins.
The quantity of fruit or other items contained in a frail.
A rush for weaving baskets.
Synonym of flail.
To play a stringed instrument, usually a banjo, by picking with the back of a fingernail.
A basket made of rushes, used chiefly for containing figs and raisins.
The quantity of raisins - about thirty-two, fifty-six, or seventy-five pounds, - contained in a frail.
A rush for weaving baskets.
Easily broken; fragile; not firm or durable; liable to fail and perish; easily destroyed; not tenacious of life; weak; infirm.
That I may know how frail I am.
An old bent man, worn and frail.
Deep indignation and compassion frail.
Liable to fall from virtue or be led into sin; not strong against temptation; weak in resolution; also, unchaste; - often applied to fallen women.
Man is frail, and prone to evil.
The weight of a frail (basket) full of raisins or figs; between 50 and 75 pounds
A basket for holding dried fruit (especially raisins or figs)
Physically weak;
An invalid's frail body
Having the attributes of man as opposed to e.g. divine beings;
I'm only human
Frail humanity
Easily broken or damaged or destroyed;
A kite too delicate to fly safely
Fragile porcelain plates
Fragile old bones
A frail craft
Lacking in substance or strength.
The frail argument did not stand up to scrutiny.
Of delicate beauty; fragile.
The garden was filled with frail blossoms.
Frail can refer to being susceptible to illness or fatigue.
His frail health has kept him indoors.
Showing the effects of age.
The frail old man walked slowly with a cane.
Not robust; flimsy.
The frail boat seemed unlikely to survive the storm.

Frail Snonyms


Lacking physical strength or vigor.
After the surgery, she felt weak and tired.


Physically weak, especially due to age.
The infirm gentleman required a walker to get around.


Fine or light in texture or structure; easily damaged.
The delicate china was passed down through generations.


Lacking physical or mental strength.
His feeble attempt at humor failed to amuse.


Hard but liable to break or shatter easily.
The brittle ice cracked beneath their feet.


Lasting for a very short time.
The beauty of the ephemeral blossom is breathtaking.


Easily broken or damaged.
The fragile ecosystem is threatened by pollution.


Susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.
The small bird was vulnerable to predators.


Small in degree; inconsiderable.
There was only a slight chance of rain.


Pale and giving the impression of illness or exhaustion.
She looked wan and tired after the long journey.

Frail Idioms & Phrases

A frail thread of life

Refers to the delicate and precarious nature of existence.
The accident showed how we're all hanging by a frail thread of life.

A frail hope

A very slim chance of happening.
They clung to a frail hope that the weather would clear up for the picnic.

Frail barrier

A weak obstacle that can be easily overcome or destroyed.
The frail barrier could not hold back the floodwaters.

Frail as a reed

Extremely weak or delicate.
After his illness, he was as frail as a reed.

Walk a frail line

To be in a precarious or risky situation.
He walked a frail line between obedience and rebellion.

Frail bond

A weak connection or relationship.
The tragedy tested their frail bond.

Build on frail foundations

To start something on a weak or unstable basis.
Their relationship was built on frail foundations.

Carry a frail heart

To be emotionally or morally weak.
She carried a frail heart, easily swayed by others.

Frail grasp on reality

Having a weak understanding or connection with the real world.
His delusions showed a frail grasp on reality.

Frail Example Sentences

The vase was so frail that it broke at the slightest touch.
He held onto the frail hope of finding his lost dog.
The frail light in the room made it difficult to read.
She appeared frail but possessed an indomitable spirit.
The ice was too frail to support our weight.
Her health seemed frail, yet she worked tirelessly.
The old bridge's frail structure worried the engineers.
The book's binding was frail and pages began to fall out.
The frail wings of the butterfly were mesmerizing.
Despite his frail appearance, he was a fierce competitor.
Their frail relationship finally ended in a quiet goodbye.
In her frail condition, she could hardly stand up alone.
The frail economy was hit hard by the crisis.
The plant's frail stems bent under the heavy rain.
His voice was frail and barely audible over the phone.

Common Curiosities

Why is it called frail?

Frail comes from the Old French word "fraile," which means weak or fragile, reflecting its meaning of something easily broken or delicate.

How is frail used in a sentence?

Frail is used to describe something or someone that is very weak or delicate. e.g., The frail branches could not support the bird's nest.

How do we divide frail into syllables?

Frail is a single syllable word, so it is not divided.

What is the pronunciation of frail?

Frail is pronounced as /freɪl/.

What is the verb form of frail?

Frail does not have a direct verb form. Related verbs might involve actions indicating making something weak or fragile, but "frail" itself is primarily an adjective.

What is another term for frail?

Another term for frail is fragile.

How many syllables are in frail?

Frail has one syllable.

What is a stressed syllable in frail?

In the word frail, the only syllable is stressed.

What is the root word of frail?

The root of "frail" is the Old French "fraile," which means weak or fragile.

What is the opposite of frail?

The opposite of frail is robust or strong.

What part of speech is frail?

Frail is an adjective.

Is frail an adverb?

No, frail is not an adverb.

Is the frail term a metaphor?

Frail can be used metaphorically to describe things that are not literally weak or delicate.

Is the word “frail” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

As an adjective, frail cannot be a direct or indirect object.

Is frail a vowel or consonant?

The word frail begins with a consonant.

Is frail a countable noun?

Frail is not a noun; it is an adjective and thus does not have a countable form.

Which determiner is used with frail?

Determiners like "a," "the," and possessive pronouns can be used with frail depending on the context, e.g., "a frail structure."

Which vowel is used before frail?

This depends on the article or adjective used before frail; typically, "a" or "an" is not applicable because frail starts with a consonant sound.

Which article is used with frail?

The definite article "the" or the indefinite article "a" can be used with frail depending on specificity, e.g., "a frail leaf."

What is the singular form of frail?

Frail is an adjective and does not have a singular or plural form. Its usage depends on the noun it describes.

What is the plural form of frail?

As an adjective, frail does not have a plural form. It can describe both singular and plural nouns.

Is frail an abstract noun?

No, frail is an adjective, not a noun.

Is the word frail Gerund?

No, frail is an adjective, not a gerund.

Which preposition is used with frail?

Prepositions such as "in," "of," and "with" can be used with frail, depending on the context, e.g., "in a frail state."

Is frail a noun or adjective?

Frail is an adjective.

Is frail a negative or positive word?

Frail generally has a negative connotation, indicating weakness or delicacy.

Is frail a collective noun?

No, frail is an adjective and not a noun.

Is the word frail imperative?

No, frail is not an imperative; it is an adjective.

Which conjunction is used with frail?

Conjunctions like "and," "but," or "or" can be used with frail in compound sentences, e.g., "frail but determined."

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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