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[fraj-uh l; British fraj-ahyl] /ˈfrædʒ əl; British ˈfrædʒ aɪl/

easily broken, shattered, or damaged; delicate; brittle; frail:
a fragile ceramic container; a very fragile alliance.
vulnerably delicate, as in appearance:
She has a fragile beauty.
lacking in substance or force; flimsy:
a fragile excuse.
able to be broken easily
in a weakened physical state
delicate; light: a fragile touch
slight; tenuous: a fragile link with the past

1510s, “liable to sin, morally weak;” c.1600, “liable to break;” a back-formation from fragility, or else from Middle French fragile (14c.), from Latin fragilis (see fragility). Transferred sense of “frail” (of persons) is from 1858.


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  • Fragment

    [noun frag-muh nt; verb frag-muh nt, -ment, frag-ment] /noun ˈfræg mənt; verb ˈfræg mənt, -mɛnt, frægˈmɛnt/ noun 1. a part broken off or detached: scattered fragments of the broken vase. 2. an isolated, unfinished, or incomplete part: She played a fragment of her latest composition. 3. an odd piece, bit, or scrap. verb (used without […]

  • Fragmentally

    [frag-men-tl] /frægˈmɛn tl/ adjective 1. . 2. Geology. (def 3). /fræɡˈmɛntəl/ adjective 1. (of rocks or deposits) composed of fragments of pre-existing rocks and minerals 2. another word for fragmentary

  • Fragmentarily

    [frag-muh n-ter-ee] /ˈfræg mənˌtɛr i/ adjective 1. consisting of or reduced to ; broken; disconnected; incomplete: fragmentary evidence; fragmentary remains. /ˈfræɡməntərɪ; -trɪ/ adjective 1. made up of fragments; disconnected; incomplete Also fragmental adj. 1835 (with an isolated use in Donne from 1611), from fragment + -ary.

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