- 1(Of an object) easily broken or damaged: fragile items such as glass and chinaMore 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.
- 1.1Easily destroyed or threatened: you have a fragile grip on realityMore 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.
- 1.2(Of a person) not strong or sturdy; delicate and vulnerable: a small, fragile old lady his fragile health somewhat improvedMore 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.
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- 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.