brittlest

brittle

[brit-l]
adjective, brittler, brittlest.
1.
having hardness and rigidity but little tensile strength; breaking readily with a comparatively smooth fracture, as glass.
2.
easily damaged or destroyed; fragile; frail: a brittle marriage.
3.
lacking warmth, sensitivity, or compassion; aloof; self-centered: a self-possessed, cool, and rather brittle person.
4.
having a sharp, tense quality: a brittle tone of voice.
5.
unstable or impermanent; evanescent.
noun
6.
a confection of melted sugar, usually with nuts, brittle when cooled: peanut brittle.
verb (used without object), brittled, brittling.
7.
to be or become brittle; crumble.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English britel, equivalent to brit- (akin to Old English brysten fragment) + -el adj. suffix

brittleness, noun
unbrittle, adjective
unbrittleness, noun

brittle, fragile, frail (see synonym study at frail).


1. fragile. See frail1.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
brittle (ˈbrɪtəl)
 
adj
1.  easily cracked, snapped, or broken; fragile
2.  curt or irritable: a brittle reply
3.  hard or sharp in quality
 
n
4.  a crunchy sweet made with treacle and nuts: peanut brittle
 
[C14: from Old English brytel (unattested); related to brytsen fragment, brēotan to break]
 
'brittlely
 
adv
 
'brittly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

brittle
M.E. britel, perhaps from an unrecorded O.E. adj. *brytel, related to brytan "to crush, pound, to break to pieces," from P.Gmc. stem *brutila- "brittle," from *breutan "to break up" (cf. O.N. brjota "to break," O.H.G. brodi "fragile"), and related to bruise. With -le, suffix
forming adjectives with meaning "liable to."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
brittle   (brĭt'l)  Pronunciation Key 
Having a tendency to break when subject to high stress. Brittle materials have undergone very little strain when they reach their elastic limit, and tend to break at that limit. Compare ductile.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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