"weakest" vs "the weakest"

Do you say:

-The tiger attacked its prey when it was weakest/ or the weakest.

Or am I completely wrong in both sentences.

Could you please give more examples or perhaps correct sentences?

Thank you.

The weakest.
Superlative adjectives and unique adjectives form require the definite arile “the.”. Because there can be only one of these (only one of a series can be the tallest or the best or the first), they take the definite article.

Are you sure, Milanya? Somehow I have the feeling that there are exceptions. Consider these two Google searches:

google.com/search?q=%28site% … 2&safe=off

google.com/search?hl=en&safe … f&oq=&aqi=

“Where it is weakest” has eight hits whereas “where it is the weakest” has only one; these numbers are not really significant, but still. Perhaps the word “weakest” is an exception? To me, both options sound fine for the sentence in question. I’d interpret them as follows:

  1. - The tiger attacked its prey when it was weakest: the tiger had been watching this animal for a time, and attacked at the time when the animal was least able to defend itself, when it was at its weakest.

  2. - The tiger attacked its prey when it was the weakest: the tiger had been watching a herd, but was unsure which animal it could most easily attack, because it was not clear which animal was the weakest one; then the tiger caught sight of two animals that could hardly walk, but when it was about to attack them, they entered the safety of a cave; now another animal came into view that could walk very well but still looked weaker then the others; because at this moment that animal was the weakest of the herd, the tiger decided to attack it.

“The weakest” can also be taken like the first interpretation; but “weakest” cannot be interpreted like the second.