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

Its main component, an 80-inch-diameter tube constructed of bricks and mortar about 1906, has often revealed its age and fragile condition. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, "Why do sinkholes seem so common in Baltimore? The city has a long history of unpredictable infrastructure.," 13 July 2019 Six of their families have recently spoken out, saying their loved ones are so medically fragile that moving them somewhere else could be dangerous. Stephanie Innes, azcentral, "A look inside the walls of embattled Hacienda HealthCare," 12 July 2019 As the soil warms up and the number of frost-free days increases, microbes attack these fragile organics, leaving only rot behind. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, "Viking History Is Melting Away in Greenland," 11 July 2019 In October 2015, a fragile well casing ruptured at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field in Los Angeles, California—and no one could figure out how to stop it. Larry Buhl, The New Republic, "The Toxic-Gas Catastrophe Hiding Beneath Your Home," 8 July 2019 The Honiton was commissioned by Queen Victoria, but by 2004, the white silk and lace garment was deemed to fragile for continued use. Vogue, "See New, Adorable Portraits of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s Christening," 6 July 2019 Any Republican who signs on to this deception should realize the cost of their betrayal is not just a massive tax increase, but the destruction of a fragile but growing Republican party identity that could grow to end one-party rule in Colorado. Jon Caldara, The Denver Post, "Caldara: Republican pigeons for Polis could betray TABOR and give the governor a special session win," 5 July 2019 Get our daily newsletter Tunisia’s fragile democracy still faces a test. The Economist, "Tunisia’s fragile democracy faces a stiff test," 4 July 2019 Might authenticity itself be an equally fragile myth? Hermione Hoby, The New Yorker, "What Does It Mean to Be a “Real” Writer?," 3 July 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.

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

17 Jul 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

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!