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。) – melissa_boiko Jun 26 '17 at 7:55

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.


  • 2
    「誘惑に負けて」is a good expression. Thanks for that! – paullb Jun 26 '17 at 12:38
  • 2
    Nice. Adding つい really helps bring "succombing to temptation" closer to the nuance of "moment of weakness. – Philippe Jun 26 '17 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.



Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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