Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Weak in body or mind, especially from old age or disease. synonym: weak.
  • adjective Not strong or stable; shaky.
  • adjective Archaic Lacking firmness of will, character, or purpose; irresolute.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To weaken; enfeeble.
  • To make less firm or certain; render doubtful, questionable, or dubious.
  • Not firm, stable, or strong; lacking stability or solidity; faltering; feeble: as, an infirm support; an infirm judgment.
  • Specifically Not sound in health; impaired in health or vitality; enfeebled; weak: as, infirm in body or constitution.
  • Voidable; obnoxious to legal objection that may destroy apparent efficacy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not firm or sound; weak; feeble
  • adjective Weak of mind or will; irresolute; vacillating.
  • adjective Not solid or stable; insecure; precarious.
  • transitive verb obsolete To weaken; to enfeeble.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Weak or ill, not in good health.
  • adjective insecure; irresolute
  • adjective frail; unstable
  • verb To contradict, to provide proof that something is not.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective lacking bodily or muscular strength or vitality
  • adjective lacking firmness of will or character or purpose

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English infirme, from Old French, from Latin īnfirmus : in-, not; see in– + firmus, strong, firm; see dher- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • Now I read that being old and infirm is no bar to voting Obama, not even having advanced Alzheimers is a bar.

    Archive 2008-11-01

  • Remote monitoring service will benefit the long-term infirm

    The most recent articles from Computing

  • Remote monitoring service will benefit the long-term infirm

    The most recent articles from Computing

  • I also want to identify with those who will be most adversely affected by the closures, namely the infirm and the elderly.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • And Gates is frail and infirm, which is another justification for saying “elderly.”

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Gates Charges Dropped:

  • I also want to identify with those who will be most adversely affected by the closures, namely the infirm and the elderly.

    Post Office petition

  • They found many amusing things, but the care of the sick and the infirm was the first duty, and they had many willing helpers.

    The Wonder Island Boys: Treasures of the Island

  • But there's a big difference between "elderly" and "infirm" - as the 70-year-old woman on the spin bike next to mine would quickly point out.

    NYT > Home Page

  • While the real flu is very likely to claim the lives of the young, weak, and infirm, which is a tragedy, the Swine Flu is much more likely to make them ill for three-to-four days, after which they will recover.

    neweurasia.net

  • Other franchises advised to mind their Ps and Qs due to the infirm are the Chicago Bulls

    FOXSports.com News

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