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 Alexa cannot be expected to know, for instance, what the meaning of life is, and crowdsourcing answers to questions that are enigmas could make the entire system more fragile. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Amazon Is Crowdsourcing Alexa’s Answers. Smart Tactic or a Questionable Move?," 13 Sep. 2019 His defense at second could become an issue as leads become more fragile and outs more sacred. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "‘Just throw it and hopefully they hit it at somebody’: Brett Anderson delivers ‘grindy’ start, finally beats the Yankees," 30 Aug. 2019 The fundraiser is for the Ann Storck Center, which helps people with developmental disabilities and medically fragile patients. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "Off-the-radar things to do during September in South Florida | Video," 22 Aug. 2019 Shoulder replacements have a far higher fail rate over a decade than knees because the bones are thinner and made far more fragile by trauma, arthritis and age, Wang said. Meredith Cohn,, "3D printed hearts and joints? Doctors at UMMC, VA Hospital are starting with models," 24 July 2019 Klobuchar has previously discussed the importance of paid leave in her own life as the mother of a medically fragile newborn. Vicki Shabo,, "Advice To 2020 Candidates: Talk About Paid Family Leave," 30 June 2019 When a patient’s birth family asked her to adopt their medically fragile infant, Farnan — who can’t have biological children of her own — eagerly agreed. Susan Keating,, "Nurse Opens Up About Adopting the Critically Ill Baby Boy She Cared For: ‘We Love Him So Much’," 28 June 2019 If the next president rejoins the now-fragile nuclear deal, what comes next? Doyle Mcmanus,, "Trump’s foreign policy is chaotic and terrifying. What would Democrats do?," 26 June 2019 Thirty years after Beijing’s bloody showdown with democracy, freedom seems both more precious and more fragile. Laignee Barron / Hong Kong, Time, "How the Tiananmen Square Massacre Changed China Forever," 4 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

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for fragile

The first known use of fragile was in 1521

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More Definitions for fragile


How to pronounce fragile (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fragile

: easily broken or damaged : very delicate : not strong


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fragile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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an agreement to stop fighting a war

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