• Carmen Milligan

Wednesday Word: Foible

foible

[ˈfoibəl]

NOUN

  1. a minor weakness or eccentricity in someone's character. "they have to tolerate each other's little foibles" synonyms: weakness · weak point · weak spot · failing · shortcoming


ORIGIN


late 16th century (as an adjective in the sense ‘feeble’): from obsolete French, in Old French fieble (see feeble). Both noun senses also formerly occurred as senses of the word feeble and all date from the 17th century.


Egad! I have been using the word all wrong! I thought it meant a "mistake" or "error". I would use it this way: "Using the word incorrectly was a foible on my part." But that's not it at all. "Foible" is specifically related to a flaw in your character or behavior. With that said, it would be more of a foible for me to laugh at inappropriate times, or the fact that I laugh loudly. Those are foibles.


I'm glad I had an occasion to look this one up, and get some clarity!

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