The word vulnerable has a negative connotation - as seemingly a weakness. I'd like suggestions for replacement word that has a positive (therefore, strength) connotation. Thank you

closed as unclear what you're asking by phenry, user49727, Andrew Leach, Benyamin Hamidekhoo, Mari-Lou A Nov 14 '13 at 20:42

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 9
    This is a bit like asking for a synonym for "sad" that doesn't sound so, y'know, unhappy. – phenry Nov 14 '13 at 19:23
  • 2
    Perhaps you could offer more context so that we can offer you a proper synonym? It's hard to think of any word that could mean 'vulnerable' without also meaning 'having a weakness'. Perhaps you are looking for a different word entirely, if 'vulnerable' is not suiting you. In which case, try to describe the word you are looking for, rather than trying to make a 'synonym' for vulnerable. After all, if it were a synonym, you could simply look up online any number of synonym lists and find an appropriate word. – Zibbobz Nov 14 '13 at 19:39
  • 2
    It may not seem so at first blush, but "open" has much in common with "vulnerable," in the sense of not on guard or defended or walled/armored for protection. – Sven Yargs Nov 14 '13 at 19:43
  • @Sven Yargs I strongly suspect this is what the asker is looking for, but I don't want to put words in their mouth. I would suggest to the asker that they edit their question to make this clear. – Zibbobz Nov 14 '13 at 19:45
  • 1
    I think this would depend a lot on what's being described. Is this a person who's vulnerable to peer pressure? A strategically vulnerable chess position? An argument in a debate which is vulnerable to criticism? A military target that is vulnerable to attack? – p.s.w.g Nov 14 '13 at 19:51

For emotional vulnerability, you can use sensitive, which has more neutral connotations. You can use it in praise or criticism, although in the latter case it's common to make the criticism explicit rather than implied:

I like him because he's sensitive.
He annoys me because he's too sensitive.

Also, note that vulnerable itself has less of a negative connotation when it comes to emotions than it does in a strategic context.


Without a context, it's difficult.

Open to suggestions is a strength if they're benevolent, whereas it would be a weakness if the suggestions were evil.


I am not sure how you avoid some level of negative connotation.

'Susceptible' might be more neutral.

  • I think 'susceptible' is still a bit negative. – EleventhDoctor Aug 24 '15 at 15:35

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.