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brittle

[ brit-l ]
/ ˈbrɪt l /
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See synonyms for: brittle / brittleness on Thesaurus.com

adjective, brit·tler, brit·tlest.

noun

a confection of melted sugar, usually with nuts, brittle when cooled: peanut brittle.

verb (used without object), brit·tled, brit·tling.

to be or become brittle; crumble.

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QUIZ YOURSELF ON PARENTHESES AND BRACKETS APLENTY!

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Let’s start with some etymology: What are the origins of the typographical word “bracket”?

Origin of brittle

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English britel, equivalent to brit- (akin to Old English brysten “fragment”) + -el adjective suffix

synonym study for brittle

1. See frail1.

OTHER WORDS FROM brittle

brit·tle·ness, nounun·brit·tle, adjectiveun·brit·tle·ness, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH brittle

brittle , fragile, frail1 (see synonym study at frail1)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for brittle

British Dictionary definitions for brittle

brittle
/ (ˈbrɪtəl) /

adjective

easily cracked, snapped, or broken; fragile
curt or irritablea brittle reply
hard or sharp in quality

noun

a crunchy sweet made with treacle and nutspeanut brittle

Derived forms of brittle

brittlely or brittly, adverb

Word Origin for brittle

C14: from Old English brytel (unattested); related to brytsen fragment, brēotan 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

Scientific definitions for brittle

brittle
[ brĭtl ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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