• IPA: /ˈfɔɪbəl/


  1. (obsolete) Weak; feeble.
    • ante 1648 Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury, The Life of Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury, page 46:
      The good Fencing-maſters, in France eſpecially, when they preſent a Foyle or Fleuret to their Scholars, tell him it hath two Parts, one of which he calleth the Fort or ſtrong, and the other the Foyble or weak […]

foible (plural foibles)

  1. A quirk, idiosyncrasy, or mannerism; unusual habit or way (usage is typically plural), that is slightly strange or silly.
    Try to look past his foibles and see the friendly fellow underneath.
    • 1915, Of Human Bondage, by W.S.Maugham, chapter XLV
      They made up for the respect with which unconsciously they treated him by laughing at his foibles and lamenting his vices.
    • 1959, Meriden Record, "An ounce of prevention ↗", July 24 issue
      Final fillip in the Vice-President's study has been a boning up on Premier Khrushchev's favorite foible, proverbs. The bibulous Russian leader likes to throw out homely homilies in his speeches and conversations..
  2. A weakness or failing of character.
    • 1932, The Mistakes of Jesus, by William Floyd
      Jesus is reverenced as the one man who has lived unspotted by the world, free from human foibles, able to redeem mankind by his example.
  3. (fencing) Part of a sword between the middle and the point, weaker than the forte.
  • (a weakness or failing of character) fault
Related terms Translations Translations Translations
  • French: faible
  • Spanish: parte débil

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