• WordNet 3.6
    • adj frail easily broken or damaged or destroyed "a kite too delicate to fly safely","fragile porcelain plates","fragile old bones","a frail craft"
    • adj frail wanting in moral strength, courage, or will; having the attributes of man as opposed to e.g. divine beings "I'm only a fallible human","frail humanity"
    • adj frail physically weak "an invalid's frail body"
    • n frail a basket for holding dried fruit (especially raisins or figs)
    • n frail the weight of a frail (basket) full of raisins or figs; between 50 and 75 pounds
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1992, Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, better known to country music fans as singer/comedienne Minnie Pearl, was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President George Bush. In 1994, Minnie became the first woman to be inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame. She was too frail and sick to attend the ceremony, and so good friend and comedian George Lindsey ("Goober") accepted the award for her. She died in 1996 at age 83.
    • n frail frāl A basket made of rushes, used chiefly for containing figs and raisins.
    • frail A rush for weaving baskets.
    • frail 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 ."
    • 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."
    • frail Tender. "Deep indignation and compassion frail ."
    • frail The quantity of raisins -- about thirty-two, fifty-six, or seventy-five pounds, -- contained in a frail.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • frail Easily broken or destroyed: fragile; hence, weak in any way; likely to fail and decay; perishable; infirm in constitution or condition.
    • frail Specifically, weak in moral principle or resolution; not strong to resist temptation to evil; so weak as to be in danger of falling, or to have fallen, from virtue; of infirm virtue.
    • frail Weak-minded.
    • frail Tender in sentiment.
    • frail Synonyms Fragile, Frail (see fragile); brittle, slight.
    • frail To make frail.
    • n frail A flexible basket made of rushes, and used, especially in commerce, for containing fruits, particularly dried fruits, as dates, figs, or raisins.
    • n frail [Here is] a frail of figs, which I send to yourself (in the barrel of raisins).
    • n frail A rush used for weaving baskets.
    • n frail A certain quantity of raisins, about 75 pounds, contained in a frail.
    • n frail A wooden carrier or crate used by glaziers to carry sheets of glass.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Frail frāl wanting in strength or firmness: weak: unchaste
    • n Frail frāl a rush: a basket made of rushes.
    • ***


  • Thomas Kempis
    “Adversities do not make a man frail. They show what sort of man he is.”
  • Victor Hugo
    “Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.”
  • Bible
    “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. [Psalms 39:4]”
  • Michel Eyquem De Montaigne
    “The most unhappy and frail creatures are men and yet they are the proudest.”
  • Sylvia Plath
    Sylvia Plath
    “How frail the human heart must be --a mirrored pool of thought...”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. frele, freile, OF. fraile, frele, F. frêle, fr. L. fragilis,. See Fragile
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. frayel; of dubious origin.


In literature:

Any clue, however frail, was never too slight for him to hunt to its source.
"The Watchers of the Plains" by Ridgewell Cullum
The convicts were quick to see and interpret Charley's action, and their guns were quickly turned upon his frail craft.
"The Boy Chums in the Forest" by Wilmer M. Ely
Flowers that are three thousand years old, so frail and yet so eternal, make a strange impression upon one.
"The Works of Theophile Gautier, Volume 5" by Theophile Gautier
It was a frail, puny creature, always frightened and silent.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
There was something frail, transparent, unsubstantial about her that day which Robert had never noticed before.
"Robert Orange" by John Oliver Hobbes
They were not fragrant, though among them were blue-eyed violets, but they were beautiful as they were frail.
"Due West" by Maturin Murray Ballou
What centuries of dreams and struggles and rash adventures went to the inventing and perfecting of that frail boat?
"The War in the Air; Vol. 1" by Walter Raleigh
Very frail shells, oursins, sea-stars, etc., should be wrapped in cotton and placed, each one apart in a box.
"Movement of the International Literary Exchanges, between France and North America from January 1845 to May, 1846" by Various
Opening the door, he saw a slight, frail figure, dressed in a nun-like garb, and recognized the housekeeper.
"The Cryptogram" by James De Mille
He sustains us, frail, corrupt, sinful beings that we are.
"Epistle Sermons, Vol. II" by Martin Luther
How tiny, how frail they were: three boys darting in a man-made machine high above their own realm!
"Battling the Clouds" by Captain Frank Cobb
It required immense courage to rise by means of those frail envelopes which only contained heated air.
"A Winter Amid the Ice" by Jules Verne
This frail form is not thyself.
"The Life of Cicero" by Anthony Trollope
This January, consumption had taken poor, frail Marie-Blanche, still childless.
"Shaman" by Robert Shea
Flanked by two impressive slant-eyed guards, a frail figure in a rubber apron stood revealed.
"The Affair of the Brains" by Anthony Gilmore
You frail fellows often pull through easier than the big, full-blooded ones.
"Dr. Sevier" by George W. Cable
Their frail vessel was now the only material tie which seemed to bind them to their father-land.
"King Philip" by John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
I lay this sear, frail garland at thy feet.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 86, December, 1864" by Various
She threw both arms about the frail form.
"Happy House" by Jane D. Abbott
Her eyes were wistful, and she looked very frail.
"Rose MacLeod" by Alice Brown

In poetry:

Your small wire legs,
So frail, so thin,
Their touch is swansdown
Upon my skin.
"The Ladybird" by Clive Sansom
O fraile unconstant kind,
And safe in truste to noe man!
Noe woemen angells are, yet loe!
My mistris is a woman!
"A Fancy" by Edward Dyer
Teach me the measure of my days,
Thou Maker of my frame;
I would survey life's narrow space,
And learn how frail I am.
"Psalm 39 part 2" by Isaac Watts
"I know not," thus she said to me,
"If my young cheek is pale,
But daily do I feel within
This life of mine grow frail.
"The Vesper Chime" by Mary Gardiner Horsford
Thou mayst live to bless the giver,
Who, himself but frail and weak,
Would at least the highest welfare
Of another seek;
"To ------," by John Greenleaf Whittier
"Farewell, farewell! and Mary grant,
When old and frail you be,
You never may the shelter want,
That's now denied to me."
"The Palmer" by Sir Walter Scott

In news:

Frail and in a wheelchair, former Sen Bob Dole was a startling presence on the Senate floor as lawmakers voted on a treaty on disabilities.
Frail Al Davis Faces the Cameras.
Medicaid, The Frail Elderly, And Federal Budget Cuts.
Sick, frail struggle most in superstorm's aftermath.
Sick, frail struggle in storm's aftermath.
Sick and frail struggle most in aftermath.
Sick, frail struggle most in aftermath of superstorm Sandy.
Ombudsmen needed to be a voice for the frail .
' Frail ' Crider a giant among Otters' relief pitchers.
Frail Seniors are Most At-Risk and Costliest to Treat.
I'm worried about ' frail ' Lady Gaga.
Elton John Concerned Over ' Frail ' Lady Gaga.
Demi Moore looks frail stepping off plane.
Demi Moore looks frail in first post-rehab sighting.
She Looked Frail for Months.

In science:

For a different interpretation in terms of central pulsars with high magnetic fields, see the discussion by Frail .
Plerions and pulsar-powered nebulae
Frail, D. A., in Neutron Stars and Pulsars: Thirty Years after the Discovery, edited by N.
Plerions and pulsar-powered nebulae
Frail, D. A., in The many faces of neutron stars, edited by R.
Plerions and pulsar-powered nebulae
However, in order to establish that the afterglows are jets, other observations are indispensable, such as early afterglow observations at radio frequencies (Frail et al. 2000).
Microlensing of collimated Gamma-Ray Burst afterglows
Lyne, A. G., Manchester, R. N., D’Amico, N., Staveley-Smith, L., Johnston, S., Lim, J., Fruchter, A. S., Goss, W. M., and Frail, D., “An Eclipsing Millisecond Pulsar in the Globular Cluster Terzan 5”, Nature, 347, 650–652, (1990).
Binary and Millisecond Pulsars at the New Millennium
Surprisingly, Frail et al., conclude that the intrinsic luminosities of the observed gamma-ray bursts are peaked around 5 × 1050 ergs with a spread of roughly a factor of six.
Gamma-Ray Summary Report
It may be that the time lag is dependent upon the jet opening angle for reasons that are not yet understood and this observed correlation is simply an way of paramterizing the relationship observed by Frail et al.
Gamma-Ray Summary Report
X-ray source (Vasisht et al. (1993); Kulkarni & Frail (1993)), indicating a possible plerionic SNR similar to the Crab Nebula.
The Environments of Soft Gamma-Ray Repeaters: A Brief & Biased Review
The resulting far-UV flux can dissociate some of the H2O back into OH (Wardle 1999), thereby accounting for the strong OH maser activity at 1720 MHz associated with SNRs (Frail et al. 1994).
Millimetre Science with the Upgraded Australia Telescope
When collimation is taken into account, the average total energy of GRBs is estimated to be of the order of 2 × 1051 ergs (Frail et al., 2001; Panaitescu and Kumar, 2001).
The world according to the Hubble Space Telescope
With a cosmological K -correction as in Bloom, Frail & Sari (2001) the estimated isotropicequivalent energy becomes Eiso,γ ∼ 1.02 × 1052 erg, an order of magnitude lower than the corresponding estimate for GRB 990123 (Bloom, Frail & Kulkarni 2003).
Optical afterglow of the not so dark GRB 021211
The discovery in 1997 of multi-wavelength counterparts to gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) (van Paradijs et al. 1997; Costa et al. 1997; Bremer et al. 1998; Frail et al. 1997) has led to exceptionally rapid development in the field.
GRB 020410: A Gamma-Ray Burst Afterglow Discovered by its Supernova Light
The γ -ray luminosity was substantially lower than that inferred for many GRBs: the total burst energy was only ∼ 1047 ergs (if the emission is assumed to be isotropic) compared with isotropic energy releases for “classical” GRBs of 1051 − 1054 ergs (Bloom, Frail, & Sari 2001; Bloom, Frail, & Kulkarni 2003).
GRB 020410: A Gamma-Ray Burst Afterglow Discovered by its Supernova Light
For example in the well studied case of GRB 010222 (Galama et al. (2003)) the multi-band optical data is well fit by a very low extinction, somewhat in conflict with the SCUBA observation implying the galaxy is a ULIRG with AV ∼ 5 (Frail et al. 2002).
GRB 020410: A Gamma-Ray Burst Afterglow Discovered by its Supernova Light
Frail et al. 2006). A proof that very high-redshift GRBs could be observed is GRB 080319B, that would have been easily detected in K band with meter-class telescopes up to z ≈ 17 (Bloom et al. 2008).
The First Cosmic Structures and their Effects