- A person with osteoporosis is an example of someone who might have brittle bones.
- A high pitched, sharp laugh is an example of a brittle laugh.
- A person with a rigid and mean personality who is really just nervous on the inside is an example of someone who is brittle.
Brittle is defined as something hard but prone to cracking or breaking, or refers to an unpleasant and sharp laugh or to a person or behavior that appears hostile but is often driven by nerves.
- easily broken or shattered because hard and inflexible
- having a sharp, hard quality: brittle tones
- stiff and unbending in manner; lacking warmth
Origin of brittleMiddle English britel ; from Old English breotan, to break to pieces; akin to Old Norse brjota ; from Indo-European an unverified form bhreu- ; from base an unverified form bher-, to cut with a sharp point
a brittle, crunchy candy made of sugar, butter, vanilla, etc. and nuts : peanut brittle
- 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.
- Brilliantly sharp, as in percussive sound.
- a. Perishable.b. Fleeting; transitory.
A confection of caramelized sugar to which nuts are added: walnut brittle.
Origin of brittleMiddle English britel, probably from Old English *brytel, from bryttian, to shatter.
(comparative brittler or more brittle, superlative brittlest or most brittle)
- Inflexible, liable to break or snap easily under stress or pressure.
- Cast iron is much more brittle than forged iron.
- A diamond is hard but brittle.
- Not physically tough or tenacious; apt to break or crumble when bending.
- (archaeology) Said of rocks and minerals with a conchoidal fracture; capable of being knapped or flaked.
- Emotionally fragile, easily offended.
- What a brittle personality! A little misunderstanding and he's an emotional wreck.
- (informal, proscribed) Diabetes that is characterized by dramatic swings in blood sugar level.
(countable and uncountable, plural brittles)