follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

fragile

[fraj-uh l; British fraj-ahyl] /ˈfrædʒ əl; British ˈfrædʒ aɪl/
adjective
1.
easily broken, shattered, or damaged; delicate; brittle; frail:
a fragile ceramic container; a very fragile alliance.
2.
vulnerably delicate, as in appearance:
She has a fragile beauty.
3.
lacking in substance or force; flimsy:
a fragile excuse.
Origin
1505-1515
1505-15; < Latin fragilis, equivalent to frag- (variant stem of frangere to break) + -ilis -ile
Related forms
fragilely, adverb
fragility
[fruh-jil-i-tee] /frəˈdʒɪl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
fragileness, noun
nonfragile, adjective
nonfragilely, adverb
nonfragileness, noun
nonfragility, noun
overfragile, adjective
unfragile, adjective
Can be confused
brittle, fragile, frail (see synonym study at frail)
Synonyms
1. See frail1 .
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for fragile
  • Acid rain destroyed fish populations in lakes and streams, harmed fragile soils and damaged millions of acres of forest worldwide.
  • Examination under a high-powered microscope revealed a trio of narrow grooves cut into the fragile wax.
  • What the journey of a handful of dust tells us about our fragile planet.
  • Our lives already rely on fragile information networks, and will soon be constantly recorded.
  • Maybe the chemicals in the plastic bottle leak into the formula and damage the small fragile brain.
  • They were big, they generated a lot of heat, they were fragile.
  • Tempting as it is to reply to you in kind, it would be cruel to do so to one with such a fragile grip on logic.
  • Our fragile world can secure only the fundamental science, fundamental new knowledge.
  • What's more, the pork comes in a cruelly fragile bun, which leaves you cupping fistfuls of meat and disintegrating bread.
  • All their bedrooms had slanted clapboard walls and oil lamps that bathed everything in fragile golden light.
British Dictionary definitions for fragile

fragile

/ˈfrædʒaɪl/
adjective
1.
able to be broken easily
2.
in a weakened physical state
3.
delicate; light: a fragile touch
4.
slight; tenuous: a fragile link with the past
Derived Forms
fragilely, adverb
fragility (frəˈdʒɪlɪtɪ), fragileness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin fragilis, from frangere to break
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for fragile
adj.

1510s, "liable to sin, morally weak;" c.1600, "liable to break;" a back-formation from fragility, or else from Middle French fragile (14c.), from Latin fragilis (see fragility). Transferred sense of "frail" (of persons) is from 1858.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
fragile in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for fragile

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fragile

11
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with fragile