Simple Definition of friable
: easily broken into smaller pieces
Full Definition of friable
: easily crumbled or pulverized <friable soil>
Examples of friable in a sentence
<sand dollars are friable, so handle them carefully>
Did You Know?
Friable entered into English in the mid-1500s, and was borrowed either from Middle French or directly from Latin friabilis. This Latin adjective comes from the verb "friare," which means "to crumble." "Fiare" in turn is related to the verb "fricare" ("to rub"), the source of the English noun "friction." "Friable" is used to describe something that can be easily reduced to a powdered form. In contemporary usage, it is often found in the discussion of asbestos. Health concerns about asbestos primarily center around friable asbestos - that is, asbestos that is easily pulverized into tiny fibers which may remain suspended in the air and become a potential health risk to those who inhale them.
Origin of friable
Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin friabilis, from friare to crumble — more at friction
First Known Use: 1563
Synonym Discussion of friable
Medical Definition of friable
: easily crumbled or pulverized <friable carcinomatous tissue>; also : marked by erosion and bleeding <a friable cervix with bleeding on contact—Pippa Oakeshott et al>
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