Meaning of WEAKNESS in English


weak ‧ ness W3 /ˈwiːknəs, ˈwiːknɪs/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ weakling , ↑ weakness ; verb : ↑ weaken ; adverb : ↑ weakly ; adjective : ↑ weak ]

1 . FAULT [countable] a fault in someone’s character or in a system, organization, design etc:

The legislation has a fundamental weakness.

The plan has strengths and weaknesses.

2 . LACK OF POWER [uncountable] lack of strength, power, or influence

weakness in

weakness in the economy

weakness of

the growing weakness of local government

3 . BODY [uncountable] the state of being physically weak:

muscular weakness

weakness in

weakness in the right arm

4 . CHARACTER [uncountable] lack of determination shown in someone’s behaviour:

He couldn’t explain his weakness in giving in to her demands.

I dared not cry or show any sign of weakness.

weakness of

his weakness of character

5 . MONEY [uncountable] the condition of not being worth a lot of money

weakness of

the weakness of the pound against the dollar

6 . a weakness for something if you have a weakness for something, you like it very much even though it may not be good for you:

I have a real weakness for fashionable clothes.

• • •


■ something wrong

▪ fault a problem in a machine, system, design etc that causes damage or makes it not work properly:

The fire was caused by an electrical fault.


a fault in the engine

▪ defect a fault in something such as a product or machine, resulting from the way it was made or designed:

Cars are tested for defects before they leave the factory.

▪ weakness a part of a plan, system, or argument that is not as good as the other parts, and makes it likely to fail:

What are the strengths and weaknesses of each method?

▪ flaw a fault in a plan, system, argument etc, especially one that makes it useless or not effective:

Your argument has a fundamental flaw.


There was one major flaw in his suggestion – we didn’t have enough money.

▪ bug a fault in a computer program:

A bug in the system was quickly fixed.

▪ glitch a small fault in the way something works, that can usually be easily corrected:

I noticed a small glitch when installing the software.

▪ mistake something that is wrong in someone’s spelling, grammar, calculations etc:

The article was full of spelling mistakes.

▪ there’s something wrong with something used when saying that there is a problem in a machine, car etc, but you do not know what it is:

There’s something wrong with the computer – it won’t close down.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.