Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.


 (frăj′əl, -īl′)
1. Easily broken, damaged, or destroyed.
2. Lacking physical or emotional strength; delicate: a fragile personality.
3. Lacking substance; tenuous or flimsy: a fragile claim to fame.

[French, from Old French, from Latin fragilis, from frangere, frag-, to break; see bhreg- in Indo-European roots.]

frag′ile·ly adv.
fra·gil′i·ty (frə-jĭl′ĭ-tē), frag′ile·ness n.
Synonyms: fragile, breakable, frangible, flimsy, brittle
These adjectives mean easily broken or damaged. Fragile applies to objects that are not made of strong or sturdy material and that require great care when handled: fragile porcelain plates.
Breakable and frangible mean capable of being broken but do not necessarily imply inherent weakness: breakable toys; frangible bullets designed to break apart on impact.
Flimsy refers to what is easily broken because of inferior materials or workmanship: "Flimsy and loosely built structures collapsed like houses of cards under the terrific wrenching and shaking" (Richard L. Humphrey).
Brittle refers to inelasticity that makes something especially likely to fracture or snap when it is subjected to pressure: brittle bones. See Also Synonyms at weak.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
References in periodicals archive ?
Dissimilar to their peers in the Western world, Chinese banks acquire almost 80% of operating profits from net interest income while the new economic facts hint that the demand for credit will continue its fragileness in the next couple of months.
This is a team that because of our fragileness doesn't play very well when we get behind," Horton said.
In addition to highlighting the fragileness and capriciousness of the human existence, these ritual observances underscore the importance of family during times of crisis and reciprocity between generations.