Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective brittle contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of brittle are crisp, fragile, frangible, and friable. While all these words mean "breaking easily," brittle implies hardness together with lack of elasticity or flexibility or toughness.

brittle bones

When could crisp be used to replace brittle?

The synonyms crisp and brittle are sometimes interchangeable, but crisp implies a firmness and brittleness desirable especially in some foods.

crisp lettuce

In what contexts can fragile take the place of brittle?

The meanings of fragile and brittle largely overlap; however, fragile implies extreme delicacy of material or construction and need for careful handling.

a fragile antique chair

When would frangible be a good substitute for brittle?

While the synonyms frangible and brittle are close in meaning, frangible implies susceptibility to being broken without implying weakness or delicacy.

frangible stone used for paving

When might friable be a better fit than brittle?

In some situations, the words friable and brittle are roughly equivalent. However, friable applies to substances that are easily crumbled or pulverized.

friable soil

Thesaurus Entries Near brittle

Cite this Entry

“Brittle.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

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