fragile

adjective
frag·​ile | \ ˈfra-jəl How to pronounce fragile (audio) , -ˌjī(-ə)l\

Definition of fragile

1a : easily broken or destroyed a fragile vase fragile bones
b : constitutionally (see constitutionally sense 1a) delicate : lacking in vigor a fragile child
2 : tenuous, slight fragile hope a fragile coalition

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Other Words from fragile

fragility \ frə-​ˈji-​lə-​tē How to pronounce fragility (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for fragile

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

synonyms see in addition weak

Examples of fragile in a Sentence

Her health has always been very fragile. an artist with a fragile ego He is in an emotionally fragile state. The two countries have formed a fragile coalition.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Each day is fragile and fleeting, but a few more days of its caliber and a fellow could be deluded into believing the world had achieved perfection. Bulletin Board, Twin Cities, "Sunday Bulletin Board: What’s the most spectacular view you’ve seen since … well, since yesterday?," 4 Aug. 2019 Still a livelihood for 1.5bn people, forests maintain local and regional ecosystems and, for the other 6.2bn, provide a—fragile and creaking—buffer against climate change. The Economist, "Deathwatch for the Amazon," 1 Aug. 2019 Ethiopia is in an extremely fragile political state. Yonatan Fessha, Quartz Africa, "Ethiopia is facing mounting tensions as an ethnic minority community demands secession," 31 July 2019 The twins were born prematurely at 32 weeks in a fragile state on Christmas Eve 2014. Harriet Sokmensuer, PEOPLE.com, "Calif. Baby Was Strangled by Mom’s Boyfriend, as Mom Gets 21 Years for Leaving Kids With Him," 29 July 2019 The shift confirms that interest rates will be much lower from now on, leaving the economy in a much more fragile state. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, "Fed Poised to Cut Rates for First Time Since Financial Crisis, Ending an Era," 28 July 2019 Mueller sounded fragile and confused, and gave Democrats no new ammunition to use against Trump. Marc A. Thiessen, The Mercury News, "Thiessen: Mueller’s testimony is good news for Trump and Pelosi," 25 July 2019 Mayorga's lawsuit accused Ronaldo and his team of taking advantage of her fragile emotional state to coerce her into signing a settlement and nondisclosure agreement in 2009. Emanuella Grinberg, CNN, "Cristiano Ronaldo will not face sexual assault charges in Las Vegas, officials say," 22 July 2019 The lowest scoring countries, on the other hand, are all fragile states: Niger, Yemen, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Chad, with Chad scoring the lowest at 33.4. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "No Country Is On Track to Achieve Gender Equality by 2030," 5 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fragile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fragile

1521, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fragile

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French fragile, borrowed from Latin fragilis, from frag-, variant stem of frangere "to break, shatter" + -ilis "subject to, susceptible to (the action of the verb)" (alteration of -ibilis -ible, originally by haplology after verb stems ending in a labial consonant) — more at break entry 1

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Statistics for fragile

Last Updated

14 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fragile

The first known use of fragile was in 1521

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More Definitions for fragile

fragile

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of fragile

: easily broken or damaged : very delicate : not strong

fragile

adjective
frag·​ile | \ ˈfra-jəl How to pronounce fragile (audio) \

Kids Definition of fragile

: easily broken or hurt : delicate a fragile dish a fragile child

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More from Merriam-Webster on fragile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fragile

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fragile

Spanish Central: Translation of fragile

Nglish: Translation of fragile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fragile for Arabic Speakers

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