To feel weak or vulnerable.
  • こころ
  • heart, mind

こころぼそい literally means “the mind is thin”. Many dictionaries describe this い-adjective as “lonely” or “loneliness” - however こころぼそい doesn’t really mean “lonely” in the way we think of it in English - a better translation might be “to feel weak or vulnerable.”

こころぼそい is mostly used when we feel anxious because we do not have or know anyone who we can rely or depend on. For example, if you move to a new area, you probably feel vulnerable since you don’t know anyone who can support you yet. And this feeling of support can be related to things, like money. If you are old and don’t have much savings, you’ll probably feel anxious about your future. In this case also we can use こころぼそい.

The antonym of こころぼそい is こころづよい, or “to feel secure”, which literally translates to “the mind is strong.” You might think it would be こころふとい since ふとい (“thick, chubby”) is the opposite of “thin” - but don’t be fooled!

Example Sentences
  • だれもらないがいこくらすのはこころぼそものだ。

    Anyone would feel lonely if they lived in a foreign country where they don’t know anyone.

  • ちょきんが10まんえんではこころぼそ

    I feel anxious because my savings is less than 100,000 yen.