Dictionary

1brittle

adjective brit·tle \ˈbri-təl\

: easily broken or cracked

: not strong : easily damaged

: sharp in sound

brit·tler \ˈbrit-lər, ˈbri-təl-ər\ brit·tlest \-ləst, -təl-əst\

Full Definition of BRITTLE

1
a :  easily broken, cracked, or snapped <brittle clay> <brittle glass>
b :  easily disrupted, overthrown, or damaged :  frail <a brittle friendship>
3
:  easily hurt or offended :  sensitive <a brittle personality>
4
:  sharp <the brittle staccato of snare drums>
5
:  lacking warmth, depth, or generosity of spirit :  cold <a brittle selfish person>
6
:  affected with or being a form of type 1 diabetes characterized by large and unpredictable fluctuations in blood glucose level
brit·tle·ly \ˈbri-təl-(l)ē\ adverb
brit·tle·ness \ˈbri-təl-nəs\ noun

Examples of BRITTLE

  1. <a brittle cracker that turned into crumbs in my pocket>
  2. <a brittle apology that was anything but heartfelt>

Origin of BRITTLE

Middle English britil; akin to Old English brēotan to break, Old Norse brjōta
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of BRITTLE

fragile, frangible, brittle, crisp, friable mean breaking easily. fragile implies extreme delicacy of material or construction and need for careful handling <a fragile antique chair>. frangible implies susceptibility to being broken without implying weakness or delicacy <frangible stone used for paving>. brittle implies hardness together with lack of elasticity or flexibility or toughness <brittle bones>. crisp implies a firmness and brittleness desirable especially in some foods <crisp lettuce>. friable applies to substances that are easily crumbled or pulverized <friable soil>.

2brittle

noun

Definition of BRITTLE

:  a candy made with caramelized sugar and nuts spread in thin sheets <peanut brittle>

First Known Use of BRITTLE

1913

Other Food Terms

Reuben, calamari, chuck, curry, edamame, foie gras, hummus, leaven, nonpareil, peel

Rhymes with BRITTLE

BRITTLELY Defined for Kids

brittle

adjective brit·tle \ˈbri-təl\
brit·tlerbrit·tlest

Definition of BRITTLE for Kids

:  hard but easily broken <brittle glass>
brit·tle·ness noun

Synonym Discussion of BRITTLE

brittle, crisp, and fragile mean easily broken. brittle is used of something that is hard and dry. <Brittle twigs snapped under our feet.> crisp is used of something hard and dry but also fresh. <These crackers are no longer crisp.> fragile is used of anything so delicate that it may be broken easily. <He held a piece of fragile china.>
Medical Dictionary

brittle

adjective brit·tle \ˈbrit-əl\

Medical Definition of BRITTLE

:  affected with or being a form of type 1 diabetes characterized by large and unpredictable fluctuations in blood glucose level <brittle diabetes> <a brittle diabetic>

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