Meaning of BRITTLE in English
brit ‧ tle /ˈbrɪtl/ BrE AmE adjective
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old English ; Origin: gebryttan 'to break into pieces' ]
1 . hard but easily broken:
The branches were dry and brittle.
Joanna was diagnosed as having brittle bones.
2 . a situation, relationship, or feeling that is brittle is easily damaged or destroyed:
He spoke with the brittle confidence of someone who, underneath, was very worried.
3 . showing no warm feelings:
a brittle laugh
• • •
▪ fragile easily broken or damaged:
The documents are old and very fragile.
a fragile glass case
The seventeenth century wall hangings are extemely fragile.
▪ delicate easily damaged – used especially about things that are made from thin material and look attractive:
a delicate gold necklace
The plant has delicate blue flowers.
▪ brittle brittle hair, nails, bones etc have a hard surface, but they break easily, especially because they are not in good condition:
As you get older, your bones become more brittle.
a special shampoo for dry and brittle hair
▪ breakable breakable objects must be handled carefully because they will break easily:
Put breakable objects out of the reach of children.
▪ flimsy made of thin material that tears easily, or badly-made and likely to break easily:
a flimsy cotton shirt
a flimsy wooden table
▪ frail especially literary not strong and therefore easy to break, damage, or hurt:
The young trees are frail and need to be protected from the wind.
a frail little fishing boat
a frail old lady
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012