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The Definition of - brittle (noun)

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

Word Example of - brittle

    Example Sentences for brittle

    The colonel's son moved closer, and a wisp of brittle grass in her hands crackled in a double grasp.

    It was brittle in the creases, and threatened to fall apart.

    When they get terrifically excited, they jig up and down on the holly-branches and the frozen snow falls with a brittle clatter.

    The cedar of which they are chiefly built is very buoyant, but also brittle.

    The nails are thin, brittle and lined; at times small hemorrhages will be noted beneath them.

    Do not touch them till they are cold, as they may be brittle.

    Tourmalines, like emeralds, are brittle, and should be treated accordingly.

    The hickory is hard, the ash is brittle, the pine is soft, etc.

    At such a temperature, even stellanium has less strength than the most brittle substance.

    It was yellow and brittle with age, covered with writing in a fine clear hand.

Word Origin & History of - brittle

    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."