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

Many American households remain financially fragile and uncertain about their retirement prospects despite a booming job market that is lifting wages, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Thursday. David Harrison, WSJ, "One-Quarter of Working Americans Have Zero Retirement Savings," 23 May 2019 To view women in this way sets them up to be, inadvertently or not, weak, fragile, and — literally and figuratively — plastic. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, ""Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists" Season One Successfully Smashed the Dollhouse of the Original Series and Empowered Its Leading Women," 22 May 2019 Amma seems haunted and fragile, immediately crying in Camille’s arms. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sharp Objects Episode 5: Adora Is Officially the Worst Mother Ever," 6 Aug. 2018 For items that can't be wiped down or are too fragile, like interior book pages, place them outside in direct sunlight for an hour—the UV rays will kill the mold (just check the local forecast first). Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Remove Mold From Wood Furniture and Particle Board," 9 Apr. 2019 And with speculation rampant that Madrid could be interested in reuniting with former— and now unemployed— coach Jose Mourinho, Solari’s tenure in the job apparently is increasingly fragile. Joseph Wilson, The Seattle Times, "Real Madrid back in trouble as Solari effect loses luster," 6 Jan. 2019 Even the abrupt ouster of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy this month couldn’t shake investors’ faith that Spain’s recovery is real, whereas Italy’s looks increasingly fragile. Rodrigo Orihuela, Bloomberg.com, "How Spain Got Its Swagger Back," 19 June 2018 But the Kurds’ dream of self-rule is looking increasingly fragile. Washington Post, "AP Explains: What’s next after Turkey seizes Syria’s Afrin," 19 Mar. 2018 The Cohen episode has clearly rattled the president, even beyond his usual fragile mental state. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Report: Feds Seized Recordings From Michael Cohen," 13 Apr. 2018

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

5 Jun 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

Comments on fragile

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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