- 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: often used fig.
- Bridge designating a team that has won one game in an ongoing rubber and hence is liable to increased penalties
Origin of vulnerableLate Latin vulnerabilis, wounding, likely to injure (also, in 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