• synonyms


See more synonyms for friable on Thesaurus.com
  1. easily crumbled or reduced to powder; crumbly: friable rock.
Show More

Origin of friable

1555–65; < Latin friābilis, equivalent to friā(re) to rub, crumble + -ābilis -able
Related formsfri·a·bil·i·ty, fri·a·ble·ness, nounun·fri·a·ble, adjectiveun·fri·a·ble·ness, noun
Can be confusedfriable fryable

Synonyms for friable

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for friable

breakable, crumbly, fragile

Examples from the Web for friable

Historical Examples of friable

  • The same field, well drained, is friable and porous, and uniform in texture.

    Farm drainage

    Henry Flagg French

  • The muscles are friable and are covered with ecchymotic spots.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse

    United States Department of Agriculture

  • As they are now friable and porous, they require to be delicately handled.

  • The bright colors are on the surface of the rock only, which is too friable to be preserved.

  • The matter left in the pot will be blackish and friable when cold.

British Dictionary definitions for friable


  1. easily broken up; crumbly
Show More
Derived Formsfriability or friableness, noun

Word Origin for friable

C16: from Latin friābilis, from friāre to crumble; related to Latin fricāre to rub down
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 friable


1560s, from Middle French friable and directly from Latin friabilis "easily crumbled or broken," from friare "rub away, crumble into small pieces," related to fricare "to rub" (see friction). Related: Friability.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

friable in Medicine


  1. Readily crumbled; brittle.
  2. Relating to a dry, brittle growth of bacteria.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.