weak

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Related to weakest: Weakest link

bring it weak

To bring or exert less force, energy, or skill than one is capable of or which is required to accomplish a task. Our next opponents are at the top of the division, so we can't bring it weak when we play them tomorrow.
See also: bring, weak

weak tea

slang Something that is particularly underwhelming or unimpressive. Many have felt like the president's run in office has been rather weak tea compared to the bold promises he made during his campaign.
See also: tea, weak

weak in the knees

Unsteady or flustered due to a strong emotional reaction to someone or something. Hearing the news of my father's sudden death, I went weak in the knees and could barely remain standing. Just thinking about Samantha makes me feel weak in the knees.
See also: knee, weak

go weak at the knees

To become unsteady or flustered due to a strong emotional reaction to someone or something. Hearing the news of my father's sudden death, I went weak at the knees and could barely remain standing. Just thinking about Samantha makes me go weak at the knees.
See also: knee, weak

go weak in the knees

To become unsteady or flustered due to having a strong emotional reaction to someone or something. Hearing the news of my father's sudden death, I went weak in the knees and could barely remain standing. Just thinking about Samantha makes me go weak in the knees.
See also: knee, weak

a chain is only as strong as its weakest link

If one part of something is weak, it jeopardizes the integrity, quality, or effectiveness of the whole. I need to make sure that everyone on our debate team is well-prepared, since a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
See also: chain, link, strong, weak

weak-kneed

Lacking resolve; easily swayed or frightened. You can definitely get someone weak-kneed like Tim to do this stupid project for you. You'll never convince them to give you a raise if you go into the meeting weak-kneed.

weak link

Someone or something considered inferior to the other parts of a group, series, or mechanism. The weak link in computer security is almost always the end user. Derek hardly ever comes to class, so I'm not surprised he was the weak link in our group project.
See also: link, weak

a chain is no stronger than its weakest link

If one part of something is weak, it jeopardizes the integrity, quality, or effectiveness of the whole. I need to make sure that everyone on our debate team is well-prepared, since a chain is no stronger than its weakest link. A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and our security will not be effective if any of the checkpoints are not functioning.
See also: chain, link, no, strong, weak

weak at the knees

1. Literally, in danger of collapsing because one's knees may buckle, due to faintness brought on by a strong emotion, exhaustion, etc. Hearing the news of my father's sudden death, I went weak at the knees and could barely remain standing.
2. By extension, affected by a strong emotional reaction to someone or something. In this usage, the reaction is usually positive and associated with romance. Just thinking about Samantha makes me feel weak at the knees.
See also: knee, weak

have a weak spot for (someone or something)

To feel drawn to a certain type of person or thing consistently. George must have a weak spot for redheads—I mean, every girl he's dated has had red hair! I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I have a weak spot for boxed chocolates.
See also: have, spot, weak

the spirit is willing, but the/(one's) body is weak

One has the desire or intention to change do something beneficial, but one lacks the resolve or motivation to do it. Every year I resolve to eat better and do more exercise; and every year, inevitably, the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. We all know someone who has the best intentions in the world to get their lives on the right track, whose spirit is willing, but their body is weak.
See also: body, but, spirit, weak

the spirit is willing, but the/(one's) flesh is weak

One has the desire or intention to change do something beneficial, but one lacks the resolve or motivation to do it. Every year I resolve to eat better and do more exercise; and every year, inevitably, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. We all know someone who has the best intentions in the world to get their lives on the right track, whose spirit is willing, but their flesh is weak.
See also: but, flesh, spirit, weak

chain is no stronger than its weakest link

Prov. A successful group or team relies on each member doing well. George is completely out of shape. I don't want him on our ball team; a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
See also: chain, link, no, strong, weak

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Prov. People cannot always do what they know they ought to do.; People are not always physically capable of doing what they are willing to do. (Biblical.) Alan: Have you started the diet your doctor recommended? Fred: The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
See also: but, flesh, spirit, weak

*weak as a baby

 and *weak as a kitten
Cliché [of someone] physically very weak.(Also: as ~.) Six weeks of illness left the athlete as weak as a baby. John is as weak as a kitten because he doesn't eat well.
See also: baby, weak

weak link (in the chain)

Fig. the weak point or person in a system or organization. Joan's hasty generalizations about the economy were definitely the weak link in her argument.
See also: link, weak

weak sister

a timid person, usually a male. It looks like Dave is the weak sister on the team. We've got to pull together and stop playing like a bunch of weak sisters.
See also: sister, weak

spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, the

One would like to undertake something but hasn't the energy or strength to do so. For example, Another set of tennis? The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Today often used as a rueful admission of weariness or other physical weakness, this idiom was first recorded in the New Testament (Matthew 26:41), where Jesus tells his disciples: "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." A modern equivalent is I would if I could but I can't.
See also: but, flesh, spirit, willing

weak as a kitten

Feeble and fragile, as in After that bout with flu she was weak as a kitten. This simile has largely replaced weak as a cat, from the early 1800s.
See also: kitten, weak

weak link

The least dependable member of a group, as in The shipping department, slow in getting out orders, is our weak link in customer service , or They're all very capable designers except for Ron, who is clearly the weak link. This expression alludes to the fragile portion of a chain, where it is most likely to break. [Mid-1800s]
See also: link, weak

weak moment, in a

At a time of weakness or little resistance, as in In a weak moment I agreed to let our son rent a truck.
See also: weak

a weak link

or

a weak link in the chain

COMMON If you describe someone or something as a weak link or a weak link in the chain, you mean that they are an unreliable part of a system or member of a group, and because of them the whole system or group may fail. It was automatically assumed that Edward would be the weak link in the partnership. Success comes from teamwork, and all it takes is one weak link in the chain to deny you the rewards of any amount of hard work. Note: People also say that someone or something is the weakest link if they are the most unreliable part of a system. He was the weakest link in the team's defence. Note: People sometimes say that a system is only as strong as its weakest link. A rail system is only as strong as its weakest link, as any commuter trapped behind a broken-down train can testify.
See also: link, weak

weak at the knees

overcome by a strong emotion.
See also: knee, weak

the weak link

the point at which a system, sequence, or organization is most vulnerable; the least dependable element or member.
See also: link, weak

the ˌspirit is ˈwilling but the ˌflesh (it) is ˈweak

(saying, humorous) you intend to do good things but are too tired, lazy, etc. to actually do them
See also: but, flesh, spirit, weak, willing

be/go ˌweak at the ˈknees

(informal) be/become weak because of illness, strong emotion, etc: He felt dizzy and a bit weak at the knees.Her smile made me go weak at the knees (= with nervousness, love, etc.). ▶ ˌweak-ˈkneed adj. not brave or determined
See also: knee, weak

the weak ˈlink (in the ˈchain)

the point at which a system or an organization is most likely to fail: She went straight for the one weak link in the chain of his argument.
See also: link, weak

a weak ˈmoment

,

a moment of ˈweakness

a time when you do or agree to something you would not normally do: In a weak moment I agreed to let them stay at our house, but later I wished I hadn’t.I was on a very strict diet but in a moment of weakness I ate a cream cake.
See also: moment, weak

weak sister

n. a timid person, usually a male. Another weak sister and we’ll have to quit. We’ve got to pull together.
See also: sister, weak
References in periodicals archive ?
It was the weakest in the current 21-month period of expansion, with the vast majority of respondents (97 per cent) seeing no change in employment.
Coalville in the East Midlands, Accrington in the North West of England and Poole and Newton Abbot in the South West of England were also on the weakest performers list.
The figures revealed the weakest input cost inflation in more than three years as the average cost of inputs to manufacturers fell for the first time since Q2 2009, driven largely by China, which suffered a fourth successive quarterly decline in prices.
While assessing 206 of the world's largest financial institutions, the agency found that 42 percent of the weakest banks, with a rating of D+ or lower, were located in the PIIGS countries, France and Germany.
On The Weakest Link, though, Anne Robinson is outrageously rude and cruel to the participants as she hosts the 45-minutes long gameshow, relentlessly mocking both their personal and professional lives between rounds.
After voting in each round, outgoing contestants left the set to the sound of her curt catchphrase: "You are the Weakest Link, goodbye.
They've got to be ready to say, 'You ARE the weakest link, GOODBYE'," I'd have found it more convincing.
Last year, the dad-of-one who currently travels across the UK to offer his services, was kicked out in the first round after appearing on the Weakest Link.
The former Rover worker was rejected by Sir Alan Sugar and was the first to be voted off The Weakest Link two years ago.
Since September 11, 2001, the United States and other governments have frequently asserted that threats to international peace and security often come from the world's weakest states.
Lauren Black, 20, student, West Jesmond: The Weakest Link because I seem to know the answers to some of the questions.
WASHINGTON -- Workers stepped up their efficiency in the final three months of 2006, yet productivity still turned in the weakest yearly performance in almost a decade.
Y ou are the weakest link' is a phrase we have all become familiar with over recent years, and although I have never understood the need for self-humiliation at the hands of Anne Robinson, I was recently reminded of how often the weakest link in any organisation can diminish the strength of even the most successful of companies.