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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 of fragile
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fragile
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Still she was a slender, fragile little creature, and you saw that the rude winds of life had swept too early over her.

    Fashion and Famine Ann S. Stephens
  • How fragile as spider-webs, how almost laughable they seemed down here!

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • Yet, in the storms of this rude world, how often does it prove a fragile thing.

    The Young Maiden A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey
  • In the legend she is a fragile woman guided by a divine soul.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • It had been so fragile, that even the sound of its breaking was thin and evanescent like a note blown, not struck.

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
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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
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fragile in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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