is there a good expression for the English "a moment of weakness"?

For example: In a moment of weakness, I strayed from my diet and ate some cookies.

I tried looking through alc but couldn't really find anything that seemed to sound right.

  • 1
    There's no way to say that because it would be an excuse, and the Japanese never have excuses. They only ever say 申し訳ありません; no one ever says 申し訳あります。 (this is a stolen joke. 申し訳ありません。) Jun 26, 2017 at 7:55

2 Answers 2


Depending on context, I think you could probably say...

「 (つい)魔が差して、...」

In a moment of weakness, I strayed from my diet and ate some cookies.


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    「誘惑に負けて」is a good expression. Thanks for that!
    – paullb
    Jun 26, 2017 at 12:38
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    Nice. Adding つい really helps bring "succombing to temptation" closer to the nuance of "moment of weakness.
    – Philippe
    Jun 26, 2017 at 13:31



(Either one will work there, I think.)

「心を[緩めた]{ゆるめた}瞬間{しゅんかん}」 might work for more abstract temptations. Or maybe it was 「よろめく」, although the grammar would be different. I think I've heard both, but you'll want to check. But either way has a certain philosophical feeling. The latter is definitely used relative to temptation, in addition to meaning physically losing of balance (but not 「心を」 in that case).

(I'm going to retract those. I may use them, but I wouldn't recommend them unless you hear a native using them, and you may still want to check twice. However, I recalled another, see below.)

It depends on what sort of weakness you are blaming. You're more likely to hear excuses than "in a moment of weakness".

腹経て(はらへて) [腹減って]{はらへって}、クッキーを三枚[食っちゃった]{くっちゃった}。



(ahem. [弱った隙に]{よわったすきに}打った誤字のことを、chocolate様にご指摘を頂いて、感謝します。 But there is a sense of a contest in progress with 「弱った隙に」.)

(afterthought #2) Since I'm being too cryptic, the English in the question really doesn't translate well in actual use.

However, I did recall a phrase that is close, 「弱った隙に」, which I used in the example of the first afterthought. It may or may not be appropriate, which I tried to demonstrate by the example and the comment.



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