Definitions for brittleˈbrɪt l

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word brittle

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

brit•tle*ˈbrɪt l(adj.)-tler, -tlest

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

  2. easily damaged or destroyed; fragile; frail.

  3. lacking warmth, sensitivity, or compassion; cold.

  4. having a sharp, tense quality:

    a brittle tone of voice.

  5. unstable or impermanent; evanescent.

  6. (n.)a confection of melted sugar, usu. with nuts, brittle when cooled.

  7. (v.i.)to be or become brittle.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

* Syn: See frail1.

Origin of brittle:

1350–1400; ME britel


Princeton's WordNet

  1. brittle, toffee, toffy(adj)

    caramelized sugar cooled in thin sheets

  2. brittle, brickle, brickly(adj)

    having little elasticity; hence easily cracked or fractured or snapped

    "brittle bones"; "glass is brittle"; "`brickle' and `brickly' are dialectal"

  3. brittle(adj)

    lacking warmth and generosity of spirit

    "a brittle and calculating woman"

  4. brittle, unannealed(adj)

    (of metal or glass) not annealed and consequently easily cracked or fractured

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. brittle(adjective)ˈbrɪt l

    delicate and easily broken

    brittle bones


  1. brittle(Noun)

    (Mass Noun) A confection of caramelized sugar and nuts.

  2. brittle(Noun)

    (Mass Noun) Anything resembling this confection, such as flapjack, a cereal bar, etc.

  3. brittle(Adjective)

    Inflexible, liable to break or snap easily under stress or pressure.

  4. brittle(Adjective)

    Not physically tough or tenacious; apt to break or crumble when bending.

  5. brittle(Adjective)

    Said of rocks and minerals with a conchoidal fracture; capable of being knapped or flaked.

  6. brittle(Adjective)

    Emotionally fragile, easily offended.

  7. brittle(Adjective)

    Diabetes that is characterized by dramatic swings in blood sugar level.

  8. Origin: From britel, brutel, brotel, from *, equivalent to . More at brit.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Brittle(adj)

    easily broken; apt to break; fragile; not tough or tenacious

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. brittle

    Said of software that is functional but easily broken by changes in operating environment or configuration, or by any minor tweak to the software itself. Also, any system that responds inappropriately and disastrously to abnormal but expected external stimuli; e.g., a file system that is usually totally scrambled by a power failure is said to be brittle. This term is often used to describe the results of a research effort that were never intended to be robust, but it can be applied to commercial software, which (due to closed-source development) displays the quality far more often than it ought to. Oppose robust.

Anagrams of brittle

  1. blitter, triblet

Translations for brittle

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


hard but easily broken

brittle materials.

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