frail (adj.) mid-14c., "morally weak," from O.Fr. fraile "weak, frail, sickly, infirm" (Mod.Fr. frêle), from L. fragilis "easily broken" (see FRAGILITY (Cf. fragility)). Sense of "liable to break" is first recorded in English late 14c. The U.S. slang noun meaning "a woman" is attested from 1908.

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  • frail — [freıl] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: fraile, from Latin fragilis, from frangere to break ] 1.) someone who is frail is weak and thin because they are old or ill ▪ frail elderly people ▪ her frail health frail body/physique… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • frail — frail, a. [Compar. {frailer} (fr[=a]l [ e]r); superl. {frailest}.] [OE. frele, freile, OF. fraile, frele, F. fr[^e]le, fr. L. fragilis. See {Fragile}.] 1. Easily broken; fragile; not firm or durable; liable to fail and perish; easily destroyed;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • frail — [ freıl ] adjective * 1. ) physically weak and not very healthy: He is frail, but still manages to walk with a cane. 2. ) not strong and therefore likely to be damaged or destroyed: a garden with a frail wooden fence around it attempts to rebuild …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • frail — frail·ly; frail·ness; frail·ty; frail; …   English syllables

  • frail — (fr[=a]l), n. [OE. fraiel, fraile, OF. fraiel, freel, frael, fr. LL. fraellum.] A basket made of rushes, used chiefly for containing figs and raisins. [1913 Webster] 2. The quantity of raisins about thirty two, fifty six, or seventy five pounds,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • frail|ty — «FRAYL tee», noun, plural ties. 1. the condition of being frail; weakness: »a sick person s physical frailty. The works of man inherit…their author s frailty and return to dust (William Cowper). 2. moral weakness; liability to yield to temptation …   Useful english dictionary

  • frail — index imperfect, insecure, insubstantial, nonsubstantial (not sturdy), powerless Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • frail — fragile, *weak, feeble, infirm, decrepit Analogous words: slight, slender, tenuous, *thin, slim: puny, *petty: flimsy, sleazy (see LIMP): *powerless, impotent Antonyms: robust Contrasted words: * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • frail — [adj] breakable, weak brittle, dainty, decrepit, delicate, feeble, fishy, flimsy, fracturable, fragile, frangible, infirm, insubstantial, puny, sad, shatterable, shattery, sickly, slender, slight, slim, tender, tenuous, thin, unsound,… …   New thesaurus

  • frail — ► ADJECTIVE 1) weak and delicate. 2) easily damaged or broken. DERIVATIVES frailly adverb frailness noun. ORIGIN Old French fraile, from Latin fragilis fragile …   English terms dictionary

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