1

brittle

play
adjective brit·tle \ˈbri-təl\

Definition of brittle

brittler

play \ˈbrit-lər, ˈbri-təl-ər\

brittlest

play \-ləst, -təl-əst\
  1. 1 a :  easily broken, cracked, or snapped <brittle clay> <brittle glass> b :  easily disrupted, overthrown, or damaged :  frail <a brittle friendship>

  2. 2 a :  perishable, mortal b :  transitory, evanescent

  3. 3 :  easily hurt or offended :  sensitive <a brittle personality>

  4. 4 :  sharp <the brittle staccato of snare drums>

  5. 5 :  lacking warmth, depth, or generosity of spirit :  cold <a brittle selfish person>

  6. 6 :  affected with or being a form of type 1 diabetes characterized by large and unpredictable fluctuations in blood glucose level

brittlely

play \ˈbri-təl-(l)ē\ adverb

brittleness

play \ˈbri-təl-nəs\ noun

Examples of brittle in a sentence

  1. <a brittle cracker that turned into crumbs in my pocket>

  2. <a brittle apology that was anything but heartfelt>

Origin and Etymology 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>.

2

brittle

noun brit·tle

Definition of brittle

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

1913

First Known Use of brittle

1913


BRITTLE Defined for English Language Learners

1

brittle

play
adjective brit·tle \ˈbri-təl\

Definition of brittle for English Language Learners

  • : easily broken or cracked

  • : not strong : easily damaged

  • : sharp in sound


BRITTLE Defined for Kids

brittle

play
adjective brit·tle \ˈbri-təl\

Definition of brittle for Students

brittler

brittlest

  1. :  hard but easily broken <brittle glass>

brittleness

noun

Medical Dictionary

brittle

play
adjective brit·tle \ˈbrit-əl\

Medical Definition of brittle

  1. :  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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