infirm

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj infirm lacking firmness of will or character or purpose; give me the daggers" - Shakespeare "infirm of purpose"
    • adj infirm lacking bodily or muscular strength or vitality "a feeble old woman","her body looked sapless"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Infirm Not firm or sound; weak; feeble; as, an infirm body; an infirm constitution. "A poor, infirm , weak, and despised old man."
    • Infirm Not solid or stable; insecure; precarious. "He who fixes on false principles treads or infirm ground."
    • v. t Infirm To weaken; to enfeeble.
    • Infirm Weak of mind or will; irresolute; vacillating. "An infirm judgment.""Infirm of purpose!"
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • infirm Not firm, stable, or strong; lacking stability or solidity; faltering; feeble: as, an infirm support; an infirm judgment.
    • infirm Specifically Not sound in health; impaired in health or vitality; enfeebled; weak: as, infirm in body or constitution.
    • infirm Voidable; obnoxious to legal objection that may destroy apparent efficacy. Synonyms Vacillating, wavering, shaky.
    • infirm To weaken; enfeeble.
    • infirm To make less firm or certain; render doubtful, questionable, or dubious.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Infirm in-fėrm′ feeble: sickly: weak: not solid: irresolute: imbecile
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Quotations

  • Sir James M. Barrie
    Sir%20James%20M.%20Barrie
    “Ambition -- it is the last infirmity of noble minds.”
  • Martin Tupper
    Martin Tupper
    “Anger is a noble infirmity; the generous failing of the just; the one degree that riseth above zeal, asserting the prerogative of virtue.”
  • William Shakespeare
    William%20Shakespeare
    “A friend should bear a friend's infirmities, But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.”
  • Heave
    Heave
    “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
  • Michel Eyquem De Montaigne
    Michel%20Eyquem%20De%20Montaigne
    “Of all the infirmities we have, the most savage is to despise our being.”
  • Catharine Esther Beecher
    Catharine Esther Beecher
    “The delicate and infirm go for sympathy, not to the well and buoyant, but to those who have suffered like themselves.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. infirmus,: cf. F. infirme,. See In- not, and Firm (a.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr.,—L. infirmusin, not, firmus, strong.

Usage

In literature:

At last the infirmities of age pressed heavily upon him.
"The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power" by John S. C. Abbott
This will be to make a very modest allowance for human infirmities.
"The Physiology of Marriage, Complete" by Honore de Balzac
Despite his exceptional infirmities Mr. Cavanagh could do almost anything.
"The Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent" by S.M. Hussey
At the time when Severus undertook this expedition, he was advanced in age and very infirm.
"King Alfred of England" by Jacob Abbott
Fear not, then, thou child infirm, There's no god dare wrong a worm.
"Essays" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
These had no sins to confess; no ignorance to deplore; no spiritual ailments or infirmities.
"Life and Labors of Elder John Kline, the Martyr Missionary" by John Kline
It has five departments, an immense library and funds for aged or infirm teachers.
"Paris: With Pen and Pencil" by David W. Bartlett
Infirm and tottering as he is, it was the height of insanity.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete" by Various
Towards the infirmities and mistakes of his sincere disciples he was wonderfully forbearing.
"Companion to the Bible" by E. P. Barrows
He was, when you killed him, in his fifty-sixth year, and of an infirm constitution.
"Dialogues of the Dead" by Lord Lyttelton
Satan takes the advantage of this infirmity, to bring us into difficulty.
"A Practical Directory for Young Christian Females" by Harvey Newcomb
Clause third exempts 'the only son of aged or infirm parent or parents dependent upon his labor for support.
"The Continental Monthly, Volume V. Issue I" by Various
Beware of squabbles; I know the literary infirmities of man.
"The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey--Vol. 1" by Thomas de Quincey
He is feeble and infirm, and requires my presence.
"The Bastonnais" by John Lesperance
They had our prejudices and as great infirmities as we have.
"History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology" by John F. Hurst
I have no other weapon; infirmity chains me to this pallet.
"The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3" by Jane West
By delicate I suppose you mean weak and infirm.
"Can You Forgive Her?" by Anthony Trollope
None but the aged and infirm, who are destitute, are admitted.
"Lights and Shadows of New York Life" by James D. McCabe
Our parish doctor is an infirm old noodle, and I just had to do it.
"Robert Elsmere" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
And to such oversight is greatly to be ascribed the infirmities of Overbeck and his school.
"Overbeck" by J. Beavington Atkinson
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In poetry:

From mortal consciousness
Which binds to earth--infirmity of woe!
Or pining tenderness--
Whose streams will never dry or cease to flow;
"O For Thy Wings, Sweet Bird" by Mary Baker Eddy
I gaze on the hill to see
New promise of knowledge divine.
I know that infirmity
Shall be changed to power with the sign
That to me is given now.
"Introit : III. The Tree Of Knowledge" by Thomas MacDonagh
When the hamlet hailed a birth
Judy used to cry:
When she heard our christening mirth
She would kneel and sigh.
She was crazed, we knew, and we
Humoured her infirmity.
"Mad Judy" by Thomas Hardy
And then to die so young and leave
Unfinished what he might achieve!
Yet better sure
Is this, than wandering up and down
An old man in a country town,
Infirm and poor.
"Ultima Thule: Robert Burns" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Could I face firm the Is, and with To-be
Trust Heaven; to Heaven commit the deed, and do;
In power contained, calm in infirmity,
And fit myself to change with virtue ever new;
"The Cloud's Swan-Song" by Francis Thompson
All the discipline of woe,
All of man's infirmity,
Thou the Son of man did'st know,
Thou wert tempted, Lord! as we.
'Tis most merciful, most meet,
Thou should'st fill the judgment-seat.
"Confidence of God" by John Bowring

In news:

AUSTIN—Texas officials are exploring the possibility of paroling the state's most infirm inmates to secure nursing homes to save on the high cost of meeting their medical needs.
Stakes winner and producer American Standard, a half-brother to major winner Exceller and champion Capote, died Saturday at Dutchess Views Farm in Pine Plains, New York due to the infirmities of old age.
Family members and other good-hearted people who help the elderly and infirm cope with medications or maintenance of bandages for wounds need more training.
Old, Infirm and at the Center of a Legal Struggle.
Happy Birthday Rep Slaughter GOP Chair Says You're 'Too Infirm ' To Serve.
Old, infirm convicts costly to state.
AUSTIN (October 3, 2012)--Texas officials are exploring the possibility of paroling the state's most infirm inmates to secure nursing homes to save on the cost of meeting their medical needs.
Surviving the Infirmity of 2 Unions.
For the infirm elderly, depression may be eased with glasses.
There is nobody on the current court who is senile , infirm, or even close.
There was sad news on Tuesday as 1990 Preakness winner Summer Squall was euthanized due to infirmities of old age at 22.
San Marcos — In court, he was portrayed as infirm, using a wheelchair and allowed to have a personal physician nearby.
On July 31, Republican voters will have the opportunity to take the first step toward making Georgia the first state to grant full human rights protection to all innocent life, from the preborn to the elderly and infirm.
Thus, leaving aside the court's dubious decision, serious constitutional infirmities remain.
One of Bladen Forrest's eight slaves was a Susan Mason, who was listed by the appraiser as "old & infirm," and whose value was placed at zero.
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In science:

On the contrary, the experimental data on clays seems to infirm this hypothesis.
Experimental Test of the validity of "Isotropic" Approximation for the Mechanical Behaviour of Clay
On the contrary, the experimental data on sands seem to infirm this hypothesis.
Experimental Test of the "Isotropic" Approximation for Granular Materials using p=constant Compression
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