a. Susceptible to physical harm or damage: trees that are vulnerable to insects.
b. Susceptible to emotional injury, especially in being easily hurt: a lonely child who is vulnerable to teasing.
c. Susceptible to attack: “We are vulnerable both by water and land, without either fleet or army” (Alexander Hamilton).
d. Open to censure or criticism; assailable: The mayor is vulnerable to criticism on the issue.
e. Susceptible to loss or poor performance: a team that is vulnerable going into the tournament.
2. 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.
[Late Latin vulnerābilis, wounding, from Latin vulnerāre, to wound, from vulnus, vulner-, wound; see welə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
vul′ner·a·bili·ty, vulner·a·ble·ness n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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