Meaning of BRITTLE in English


— brittleness , n.

/brit"l/ , adj., brittler, brittlest , n. , v. , brittled, brittling .


1. having hardness and rigidity but little tensile strength; breaking readily with a comparatively smooth fracture, as glass.

2. easily damaged or destroyed; fragile; frail: a brittle marriage.

3. lacking warmth, sensitivity, or compassion; aloof; self-centered: a self-possessed, cool, and rather brittle person.

4. having a sharp, tense quality: a brittle tone of voice.

5. unstable or impermanent; evanescent.


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


7. to be or become brittle; crumble.

[ 1350-1400; ME britel, equiv. to brit- (akin to OE brysten fragment) + -el adj. suffix ]

Syn. 1. fragile. See frail 1 .

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .