Meaning of “vulnerable” in the English Dictionary

"vulnerable" in British English

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vulnerableadjective

uk /ˈvʌl.nər.ə.bəl/ /ˈvʌn.rə.bəl/ us /ˈvʌl.nɚ.ə.bəl/

C2 able to be easily physically, emotionally, or mentally hurt, influenced, or attacked:

I felt very vulnerable, standing there without any clothes on.
It is on economic policy that the government is most vulnerable.
Tourists are more vulnerable to attack, because they do not know which areas of the city to avoid.

More examples

  • Alison's story is a reminder of how vulnerable women can be in what is still essentially a man's world.
  • Start-ups are very vulnerable in the business world.
  • Small companies such as ours are very vulnerable in a recession.
  • These schools are known to be vulnerable to vandalism.
  • We provide a place of safety for vulnerable children.
vulnerability
noun [ U ] uk /ˌvʌl.nər.əˈbɪl.ə.ti/ /ˌvʌn.rəˈbɪl.ə.ti/ us /ˌvʌl.nɚ.əˈbɪl.ə.t̬i/

You want a doctor who understands the patient's vulnerability.

(Definition of “vulnerable” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"vulnerable" in American English

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vulnerableadjective

us /ˈvʌl·nər·ə·bəl/

able to be easily hurt, influenced, or attacked:

Older people are especially vulnerable to cold temperatures even inside their homes.
He casts himself as a naive, vulnerable young poet.
vulnerability
noun [ U ] us /ˌvʌl·nər·əˈbɪl·ət̬·i/

You want a doctor who understands the patient's vulnerability.

(Definition of “vulnerable” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)