Definition of fragile in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfrajəl/
Pronunciation: /ˈfraˌjīl/


1(Of an object) easily broken or damaged.
Example sentences
  • Tourists also damage the fragile ecosystem by dumping plastic waste and driving over the grasslands.
  • It's best to watch them from the openings rather than swimming in, because you could damage the fragile coral roofs and frighten them off.
  • It had not occurred to them that a side-effect of their research might be damaging to the fragile ecology of the country they were studying.
breakable, easily broken;
delicate, dainty, fine, flimsy;
formal frangible
1.1Flimsy or insubstantial; easily destroyed: you have a fragile grip on reality
More example sentences
  • Separatist conflicts are threatening to destroy the country's fragile democracy.
  • Unfortunately, Peter is also quickly losing his already fragile grip on reality.
  • The situation worsens, and threatens the fragile peace and stability of an entire region.
tenuous, shaky, insecure, unreliable, vulnerable, flimsy
1.2(Of a person) not strong or sturdy; delicate and vulnerable.
Example sentences
  • We are fragile and vulnerable, and shall remain so for as long as we are creatures.
  • His boss had given him a few days off from work to watch over his ailing daughter and fragile wife.
  • In this case the most frail and fragile patients, newborns, are the ones who are being affected.
weak, delicate, frail, debilitated;
ill, unwell, ailing, poorly, sickly, infirm, enfeebled



Pronunciation: /ˈfrajə(l)lē/
Example sentences
  • They treat them more and more fragilely until pretty soon the older person feels that they are totally dependent on this individual.
  • Startling, the first time, how fragilely they are attached.
  • The economies need to be robust, not fragilely dependent on commodities - again, politics and the economy dance in tandem.


Late 15th century (in the sense 'morally weak'): from Latin fragilis, from frangere 'to break'. The sense 'liable to break' dates from the mid 16th century.

Words that rhyme with fragile


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: frag·ile

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