Definition of brittle
brittlerplay \ˈbrit-lər, ˈbri-təl-ər\;
brittlestplay \-ləst, -təl-əst\
1a : easily broken, cracked, or snapped brittle clay brittle glassb : 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 medical : affected with or being a form of type 1 diabetes characterized by large and unpredictable fluctuations in blood glucose level
brittlelyplay \ˈbri-təl-(l)ē\ adverb
brittlenessplay \ˈbri-təl-nəs\ noun
Examples of brittle in a Sentence
a brittle cracker that turned into crumbs in my pocket
a brittle apology that was anything but heartfelt
Recent Examples of brittle from the Web
The company started out in 1913 making peanut brittle and saltines for decades from its old manufacturing facility in what is now South End.
The current set-up, which concentrates power in the hands of one man and one party, is brittle.
The black-as-night formula leaves lashes looking lush and soft (not brittle and dry) long after the mascara was first applied.
If the hydrogel was stretched, the bond became brittle and pulled apart.
Gravity has a way of reminding me that I'm only made of (bruised) flesh and (brittle) bone.
In 2014, the FDA opened an investigation into a shampoo/conditioner called WEN after directly receiving 127 customer reports of problems such as hair loss, brittle hair, bald patches, itching and rashes, Xu and his colleagues said in their report.
On a Tuesday in Detroit, a 5-3 loss to the Tigers produced the latest reminder of a rotation that turns brittle toward the back end.
A few of the performances, especially Nicole Kidman’s, as the lady in charge, and Kirsten Dunst’s, as the teacher pining to flee with the corporal, have some bite, but not enough to make much of an imprint in this brittle, vaporous chamber piece.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brittle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of brittle
Middle English britil; akin to Old English brēotan to break, Old Norse brjōta
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of brittle
Definition of brittle
: a candy made with caramelized sugar and nuts spread in thin sheets peanut brittle
BRITTLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of brittle for English Language Learners
: easily broken or cracked
: not strong : easily damaged
: sharp in sound
BRITTLE Defined for Kids
Definition of brittle for Students
: hard but easily broken brittle glass
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
Seen and Heard
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