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Weakness refers to a lack in force or ability; the opposite of strength.


  • Amiable weakness.
    • Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones (1749), Book X, Chapter VIII. Sheridan—School for Scandal, Act V, scene 1
  • The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
    • Mohandas Gandhi, in "Interview to the Press" in Karachi about the execution of Bhagat Singh (23 March 1931), published in Young India (2 April 1931)
  • And the weak soul, within itself unbless'd,
    Leans for all pleasure on another's breast.
  • If there are sound reasons or bases for the points you demand, then there is no need for violence. On the other hand, when there is no sound reason that concessions should be made to you but mainly your own desire, then reason cannot work and you have to rely on force. Thus using force is not a sign of strength but rather a sign of weakness.
  • If weakness may excuse,
    What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
    Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it?
    All wickedness is weakness; that plea, therefore,
    With God or man will gain thee no remission.
  • Are you or aren't you convinced that weakness is a man's condition? How can you raise yourself if you haven't fallen first?
  • Heaven forming each on other to depend,
    A master, or a servant, or a friend,
    Bids each on other for assistance call,
    Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all.
  • Fine by defect, and delicately weak.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 863-64.
  • The cord breaketh at last by the weakest pull.
  • But the concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear.
  • Amiable weakness of human nature.
    • Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter XIV.
  • Das sterbliche Geschlecht ist viel zu schwach
    In ungewohnter Höhe nicht zu schwindeln.
    • The mortal race is far too weak not to grow dizzy on unwonted heights.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Iphigenia auf Tauris, I, 3, 98
  • On affaiblit toujours tout ce qu'on exagère.
  • Soft-heartedness, in times like these,
    Shows sof'ness in the upper story!
  • Even the weakest is thrust to the wall.
    • In Scogin's Tests (1540). "The weakest goeth to the wall." Title of a play printed 1600, and 1618. "The weakest goes to the wall." Tuvill, Essays Morall (1609)
  • Weakness to be wroth with weakness! woman's pleasure, woman's pain—
    Nature made them blinder motions bounded in a shallower brain.


  • Mutability of temper and inconsistency with ourselves is the greatest weakness of human nature.
  • Sure, for all our blindness; secure, for all our helplessness; strong, for all our weakness; gaily in love, for all the pressures on our hearts.
  • I believe the most solemn duty of the American president is to protect the American people. If America shows uncertainty and weakness in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This will not happen on my watch.
  • Credulity is the man's weakness, but the child's strength.
  • If thou wouldn't conquer thy weakness thou must not gratify it.
  • Get it into your head once and for all, my simple and very fainthearted fellow, that what fools call humanness is nothing but a weakness born of fear and egoism; that this chimerical virtue, enslaving only weak men, is unknown to those whose character is formed by stoicism, courage, and philosophy.
  • Although men are accused of not knowing their own weakness, yet perhaps few know their own strength. It is in men as in soils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold which the owner knows not of.
  • As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.
  • Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to.
  • Insincerity is always weakness; sincerity even in error is strength.
  • It is folly for an eminent man to think of escaping censure, and a weakness to be affected with it. All the illustrious persons of antiquity, and indeed of every age in the world, have passed through this fiery persecution.
  • The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they're alive.
  • The 'morality of compromise' sounds contradictory. Compromise is usually a sign of weakness, or an admission of defeat. Strong men don't compromise, it is said, and principles should never be compromised.
  • It is often said that men are ruled by their imaginations; but it would be truer to say they are governed by the weakness of their imaginations.
  • Land and sea, weakness and decline are great separators, but death is the great divorcer for ever.
  • Let no one charge me with ever having abused or encouraged weakness or surrendered on matters of principle. But I have said, as I say again, that every trifle must not be dignified into a principle.
  • Life is not an easy matter... You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.
  • Love is not weakness. It is strong. Only the sacrament of marriage can contain it.
  • My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.
  • My biggest weakness is my sensitivity. I am too sensitive a person.
  • Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
  • Prayer is a confession of one's own unworthiness and weakness.
  • Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness... It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
  • Scientists tend to be skeptical, but the weakness of the community of science is that it tends to move into preformed establishment modes that say this is the only way of doing science, the only valid view.
  • Tears shed for self are tears of weakness, but tears shed for others are a sign of strength.
  • The action we take and the decisions we make in this decade will have consequences far into this century. If America shows weakness and uncertainty, the world will drift toward tragedy. That will not happen on my watch.
  • The beautiful seems right by force of beauty, and the feeble wrong because of weakness.
  • The very strength of a nation eventually proves to be its weakness.
  • There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.
  • There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.
  • 'To give style' to one's character - a great and rare art! He exercises it who surveys all that his nature presents in strength and weakness and then moulds it to an artistic plan until everything appears as art and reason, and even the weaknesses delight the eye.
  • To put away aimlessness and weakness, and to begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment; who make all conditions serve them, and who think strongly, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully.
  • We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies - it is the first law of nature.
  • Weakness on both sides is, as we know, the motto of all quarrels.
  • You cannot run away from weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?
  • You would be amazed how many important outs you can get by working the count down to where the hitter is sure you're going to throw to his weakness, and then throw to his power instead.

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