• adj. Weak, pathetic, (a place or gathering that is) lacking in activity.

  • adj. Frivolous.

  • adj. Flimsy.

  • adj. Prosaic.

  • adj. Infirm.

  • adj. Poor.

  • adj. Unsuccessful.

  • adj. Sparse.

Example Sentences

  • "I don't know who to hire--all of the applicants are pretty shvach."

  • "My dad did the grocery shopping for once this week, and when my mom saw the celery he picked out she said 'This is the the most shvach celery I've ever seen!'".

  • "We took a walk through town on Christmas morning but it was a bit shvach out."

  • "I feel a bissele schvach this morning, but I will force myself to work."

  • “How can such a shtarke bochur learn with such a shvach one?” (Weiser)

  • “He's a shvach bochur and spends more time shopping than in the Beis Medrash.” (Weiser)

  • “This chair is too shvach to stand on.” (Weiser)

  • “A shvach Shabbos HaGadol drasha is a big letdown.” (Weiser)

  • “I was too shvach to go back to yeshiva after my surgery.” (Weiser)

  • “There's nothing to chazer after such a shvach shiur.” (Weiser)

  • “He had a shvach zman because of all the distractions.” (Weiser)

  • “There was a shvach turnout at the dinner, and the yeshiva was lucky not to lose money on the event.” (Weiser)

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • שװאַך shvakh

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa


      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
      • Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).

      Alternative Spellings

      shvakh, shvache, shvakhe

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