Entries linking to feebly
late 12c., "lacking strength or vigor" (physical, moral, or intellectual), from Old French feble "weak, feeble" (12c., Modern French faible), a dissimilation of Latin flebilis "lamentable," literally "that is to be wept over," from flere "weep, cry, shed tears, lament" (from PIE *bhle- "to howl;" see bleat (v.)). The first -l- was lost in Old French. The noun meaning "feeble person" is recorded from mid-14c.
common adverbial suffix, forming from adjectives adverbs signifying "in a manner denoted by" the adjective, Middle English, from Old English -lice, from Proto-Germanic *-liko- (cognates: Old Frisian -like, Old Saxon -liko, Dutch -lijk, Old High German -licho, German -lich, Old Norse -liga, Gothic -leiko); see -ly (1). Cognate with lich, and identical with like (adj.).
Weekley notes as "curious" that Germanic uses a word essentially meaning "body" for the adverbial formation, while Romanic uses one meaning "mind" (as in French constamment from Latin constanti mente). The modern English form emerged in late Middle English, probably from influence of Old Norse -liga.
updated on November 21, 2012