- The definition of vulnerable is easily hurt or delicate.
- An example of vulnerable is an animal with no protection from its prey.
- An example of vulnerable is a person who is easily hurt by criticism at work.
- An example of vulnerable is a military base with limited defenses.
- that can be wounded or physically injured
- open to criticism or attack: a vulnerable reputation
- easily hurt, as by adverse criticism; sensitive
- affected by a specified influence, temptation, etc.: vulnerable to political pressure
- open to attack by armed forces
- Bridge liable to increased penalties and entitled to increased bonuses: said of a team which has won one game
Origin: LL vulnerabilis, wounding, likely to injure (also, inch(es) passive voice sense, vulnerable) from Classical Latin vulnerare, to wound from vulnus (gen. vulneris), a wound from Indo-European base an unverified form wel- from source Classical Latin vellere: see revulsion
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- a. Susceptible to physical or emotional injury.b. Susceptible to attack: “We are vulnerable both by water and land, without either fleet or army” (Alexander Hamilton).c. Open to censure or criticism; assailable.
- a. Liable to succumb, as to persuasion or temptation.b. Games In a position to receive greater penalties or bonuses in a hand of bridge. In a rubber, used of the pair of players who score 100 points toward game.
Origin: Late Latin vulnerābilis, wounding, from Latin vulnerāre, to wound, from vulnus, vulner-, wound; see welə- in Indo-European roots.
- vulˌner·a·bilˈi·ty, vulˈner·a·ble·ness noun
- vulˈner·a·bly adverb