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

a :  easily broken, cracked, or snapped <brittle clay> <brittle glass>
b :  easily disrupted, overthrown, or damaged :  frail <a brittle friendship>
:  easily hurt or offended :  sensitive <a brittle personality>
:  sharp <the brittle staccato of snare drums>
:  lacking warmth, depth, or generosity of spirit :  cold <a brittle selfish person>
:  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>.



Definition of BRITTLE

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

First Known Use of BRITTLE


Other Food Terms

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

Rhymes with BRITTLE

BRITTLER Defined for Kids


adjective brit·tle \ˈbri-təl\

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


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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