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adj. brit·tler, brit·tlest
a. Likely to break, snap, or crack, as when subjected to pressure: brittle bones.
b. Easily damaged or disrupted; fragile: a brittle friendship. See Synonyms at fragile.
a. Difficult to deal with; snappish: a brittle disposition.
b. Lacking warmth of feeling; cold: a reputation for being brittle and aloof.
3. Brilliantly sharp, as in percussive sound.
a. Perishable.
b. Fleeting; transitory.
A confection of caramelized sugar to which nuts are added: walnut brittle.

[Middle English britel, probably from Old English *brytel, from bryttian, to shatter.]

brit′tle·ly (brĭt′l-ē) adv.
brit′tle·ness n.
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References in periodicals archive ?
One fears that the advantages of Piano's celebrated modesty may be short-lived, and that his larger museums, though often brittlely elegant, may lack the strong aesthetic integrity needed to endure architecture's very long run.
3) revealed that neat resin behaved brittlely under high strain rate, consistent with the behavior previously reported for polyamide 6 (18).
Lacking the strong metaphoric associations of bicycle-taxi drivers or New Year's dragons, or the absurdity of painting en plein eau, the evocation of national memory and historical flux becomes brittlely allegorical and the slow, underwater lyricism less hypnotic than merely dawdling.