fragile

[fraj-uh l; British fraj-ahyl]
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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

1505–15; < Latin fragilis, equivalent to frag- (variant stem of frangere to break) + -ilis -ile
Related formsfrag·ile·ly, adverbfra·gil·i·ty [fruh-jil-i-tee] /frəˈdʒɪl ɪ ti/, frag·ile·ness, nounnon·frag·ile, adjectivenon·frag·ile·ly, adverbnon·frag·ile·ness, nounnon·fra·gil·i·ty, nouno·ver·frag·ile, adjectiveun·frag·ile, adjective
Can be confusedbrittle fragile frail1 (see synonym study at frail1)

Synonyms for fragile

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1. See frail1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for fragileness

Historical Examples of fragileness

  • She felt the slightness of her body and the fragileness of her bones.

    The Narrow House

    Evelyn Scott


British Dictionary definitions for fragileness

fragile

adjective
  1. able to be broken easily
  2. in a weakened physical state
  3. delicate; lighta fragile touch
  4. slight; tenuousa fragile link with the past
Derived Formsfragilely, adverbfragility (frəˈdʒɪlɪtɪ) or fragileness, noun

Word Origin for fragile

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

Word Origin and History for fragileness

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