friable

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective friable contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of friable are brittle, crisp, fragile, and frangible. While all these words mean "breaking easily," friable applies to substances that are easily crumbled or pulverized.

friable soil

When is it sensible to use brittle instead of friable?

The words brittle and friable are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, brittle implies hardness together with lack of elasticity or flexibility or toughness.

brittle bones

Where would crisp be a reasonable alternative to friable?

The meanings of crisp and friable largely overlap; however, crisp implies a firmness and brittleness desirable especially in some foods.

crisp lettuce

When is fragile a more appropriate choice than friable?

The synonyms fragile and friable are sometimes interchangeable, but fragile implies extreme delicacy of material or construction and need for careful handling.

a fragile antique chair

When can frangible be used instead of friable?

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

frangible stone used for paving

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Cite this Entry

“Friable.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/friable. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

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