Forcible-feeble

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Forcible-feeble Seemingly vigorous, but really weak or insipid. "He [Prof. Ayton] would purge his book of much offensive matter, if he struck out epithets which are in the bad taste of the forcible-feeble school."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • forcible-feeble Striving to be or appear strong or vigorous while being in reality feeble: as, a forcible-feeble style.
    • n forcible-feeble A feeble person striving to appear strong or vigorous: usually said of a writer.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj., n Forcible-feeble striving to look strong while really weak
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From Feeble, a character in the Second Part of Shakespeare's “King Henry IV.,” to whom Falstaff derisively applies the epithet “forcible,.”

Usage

In literature:

Let that suffice, most forcible Feeble.
"Practice Book" by Leland Powers
I never before felt so forcibly the feebleness of man.
"The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 351" by Various
One or two characters are forcibly drawn; particularly that of the amiable but feeble Count, the victim of the operation.
"The Life of Friedrich Schiller" by Thomas Carlyle
An inarticulate Shakespeare, smothered under forcible-feeble detail.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 24 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
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