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- Arms felt like spaghetti —Dan Wakefield
- As much strength as a seaweed —Ann Beattie
- (A poor weak rag of a man with a) backbone like a piece of string —Dorothy Canfield Fisher
- Boneless as poured water —George Garrett
- Diminished and flat, as after radical surgery —Sylvia Plath
- (The great white sails of the ships were) drooping like weary wings —Mazo De La Roche
- Feeble as a babe —Ted Hughes
- Feel as if I’m strung together by threads that pop and snap —Rosellen Brown
- Feel diluted, like watered-down stew —Susan Minot
- Felt a faintness stunning her senses as though someone had cut open the arteries of her wrists and all the blood rushed out of her body —Anzia Yezierska
- Felt as if my legs had turned to warm lead —Stephen King
- Forceful as a wet noodle —Anon
- Forceless as a child —Aeschylus
- The program has been like an elderly turtle on its back: it twitches feebly every now and then, but gets nowhere —Jack D. Kirwan, Wall Street Journal, March 19, 1987
The turtle comparison referred to the tragedy-weakened Challenger space program.
- Knees like liquid —Elizabeth Spencer
- (The man sprawls … spent, empty) limp as a drowned man tossed on the sand —George Garrett
- (He was) limp as laundry —W. P. Kinsella
- (I must have been worked up even more than I’d thought those past weeks, for now that it was all over I was) limp as a rag —Wilbur Daniel Steele
- Looking like an advertisement for jelly —Mike Fredman
- My legs felt as if … made of two lengths of rope —George Garrett
- No more backbone than a chocolate eclair —Theodore Roosevelt
Roosevelt coined this simile about President McKinley when he was Secretary of the Navy.
- She was like an overstretched bow, almost breaking —Stephen French Whitman
- Softened and weakened, like a wax doll left too near the flame —George Garrett
- Strength running out of him like sawdust —Vicki Baum
- Was washed out like a disemboweled sack —Aharon Megged
- Weak as a broken arm —Raymond Chandler
- Weak as air —Ann Bradstreet
By contrast, you could also say “Strong as air,” especially if you’ve ever seen a ship in dry dock.
- Weak as an nonagenarian —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- (He’s as) weak as a stick —Mary Lee Settle
In Settle’s novel, Celebration, the simile relates to emotional weakness.
- Weak as water —The Holy Bible/Ezkiel
- Weak … like a cream puff with the cream squeezed out —Tom Robbins
- Weak, like a moth newly broken out from its chrysalis —E. F. Benson
|Noun||1.||weakness - a flaw or weak point; "he was quick to point out his wife's failings"|
insufficiency, inadequacy - a lack of competence; "pointed out the insufficiencies in my report"; "juvenile offenses often reflect an inadequacy in the parents"
fatigue - used of materials (especially metals) in a weakened state caused by long stress; "metal fatigue"
flaw - defect or weakness in a person's character; "he had his flaws, but he was great nonetheless"
|2.||weakness - powerlessness revealed by an inability to act; "in spite of their weakness the group remains active"|
|3.||weakness - the property of lacking physical or mental strength; liability to failure under pressure or stress or strain; "his weakness increased as he became older"; "the weakness of the span was overlooked until it collapsed"|
property - a basic or essential attribute shared by all members of a class; "a study of the physical properties of atomic particles"
littleness, smallness - the property of having relatively little strength or vigor; "the smallness of her voice"
adynamia - lack of strength or vigor (especially from illness)
feebleness, tenuity - the quality of lacking intensity or substance; "a shrill yet sweet tenuity of voice"- Nathaniel Hawthorne
faintness - the property of being without strength; "the faintness or potency of the feeling"
insubstantiality - lack of solid substance and strength
attenuation - the property of something that has been weakened or reduced in thickness or density
enervation - lack of vitality; "an enervation of mind greater than any fatigue"
fatigability - susceptibility to fatigue; a tendency to get tired or lose strength
vulnerability - susceptibility to injury or attack
strength - the property of being physically or mentally strong; "fatigue sapped his strength"
|4.||weakness - the condition of being financially weak; "the weakness of the dollar against the yen"|
bad luck, ill luck, tough luck, misfortune - an unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes
strength - the condition of financial success; "the strength of the company's stock in recent weeks"
|5.||weakness - a penchant for something even though it might not be good for you; "he has a weakness for chocolate"|
frailty strength, power, health, virtue, validity, vitality, stamina, vigour, potency, hardiness, sturdiness, impregnability
liking dislike, hatred, loathing, aversion
"A chain is no stronger than its weakest link"
the strengths and weaknesses of sth → les forces et les faiblesses de qch
to have a weakness for sth (= liking) → avoir un faible pour qch
weakness[ˈwiːknɪs] n → debolezza
chocolate is one of my weaknesses → il cioccolato è una delle mie passioni
to have a weakness for sth → avere un debole per qc