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

Other Words from fragile

fragility \ frə-​ˈji-​lə-​tē How to pronounce fragile (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.
Recent Examples on the Web The infections touched off a wave of recalls, mostly of specialty formulas used by medically fragile babies and children. Sonja Sharpstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 The worsening nationwide baby formula shortage is affecting parents coast to coast, including those who choose not to or cannot breastfeed and those whose medically fragile children can’t tolerate other nutrition sources. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, 11 May 2022 The question of whether industrial aquaculture will enrich Maine’s economy without damaging its fragile ecosystems haunts scientists, politicians and residents. Ellen Ruppel Shell, Scientific American, 1 May 2022 By cataloging and identifying new fish species, researchers can get a better sense of how to preserve fragile reef ecosystems and set conservation priorities based on the range of each fish. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Mar. 2022 Monday's report said sea-surface temperatures are projected to rise, threatening fragile marine ecosystems, including East African coral reefs. Wanjohi Kabukuru, ajc, 2 Mar. 2022 Reintroducing the species—or one like it—to the area might help protect these fragile forest ecosystems. Matt Reynolds, Wired, 9 Feb. 2022 Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announced his resignation Sunday amid political deadlock and widespread pro-democracy protests following a military coup that derailed the country’s fragile transition to democratic rule. Samy Magdy, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Jan. 2022 Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announced his resignation Sunday amid political deadlock and widespread pro-democracy protests following a military coup that derailed the country’s fragile transition to democratic rule. Fox News, 2 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for fragile

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The first known use of fragile was in 1521

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Dictionary Entries Near fragile

Fragilaria

fragile

fragile fern

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fragile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fragile. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for fragile

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

More from Merriam-Webster on fragile

Nglish: Translation of fragile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fragile for Arabic Speakers

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