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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Marcus Mariota’s injury history is well-known, but his fragile health didn’t stop him from making a play Saturday. oregonlive.com, "Watch: Marcus Mariota flipped into the end zone against the New England Patriots," 18 Aug. 2019 However, due to their fragile health, 13 migrants were disembarked by an Italian coast guard boat and taken to Lampedusa. Giada Zampano, BostonGlobe.com, "NGO ship carrying rescued migrants barred from docking in Italy," 5 July 2019 However, due to their fragile health, 13 migrants were taken off disembarked by an Italian coast guard boat and taken to Lampedusa. Washington Post, "NGO ship with migrants barred from docking in Italy," 5 July 2019 Investors should keep a close eye on China’s money markets in the days ahead to make sure a seasonal cash crunch and problems at a few banks and brokerages don’t contaminate a fragile financial ecosystem. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Warning Lights Are Flashing In China’s Money Market," 18 June 2019 Commercialising the Himalayas takes a serious toll on fragile ecosystems and comes with safety hazards which must not be dismissed. Ipsita Chakravarty, Quartz India, "How colonialism cost the Himalayas their remoteness," 10 June 2019 In already fragile health ecosystems, these efforts to ban abortions could cost women their lives. Lauren Rankin, Teen Vogue, "Alabama's Abortion Ban Is Dangerous, and it May Even Be Deadly," 16 May 2019 Some advocates for the parks aren’t happy about this situation, fearing that visitors will do permanent damage to the parks and potentially disrupt fragile ecosystems. John Waters, The Seattle Times, "In shutdown, national parks transformed into Wild West — heavily populated and barely supervised," 2 Jan. 2019 The German group operating the ship, Lifeline Mission, said the weather conditions had worsened during a sixth day of waiting for safe haven, adding that some of the migrants were in fragile health. Fox News, "EU haggles over 200 migrants as ship seeks sheltered seas," 27 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fragile

Statistics for fragile

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fragile

The first known use of fragile was in 1521

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up fragile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

friendly or mild

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!