from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The property by virtue of which a material is fractured without appreciable deformation by the application of load
  • n. The state of being brittle; aptness to break; fragility.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Aptness to break; fragility.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Instability; changeableness.
  • n. The property of breaking readily with a comparatively smooth fracture; frangibility: the opposite of toughness and tenacity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. firm but easily broken


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Jimmy Stewart’s self-consciously down-to-earth writer in The Philadelphia Story thinks he has rich Katherine Hepburn pegged from the beginning, but by the end, he’s not so sure; Hepburn’s high-toned brittleness is something of a façade, her ex-husband Cary Grant shows the sort of cunning that other screwball comedies might have assigned to an average Joe, while her up-by-his-bootstraps fiancé, played by John Howard, proves a rather dull fellow indeed.

    The Turn of the Screw (I)

  • Because he is young, is just two years distant from a brief career as a state legislator and has negligible national security experience, an Obama presidential candidacy could have a porcelain brittleness.

    December 2006

  • As I have noted elsewhere, the Bolling/Byrne example is a classic case of this kind of brittleness in current dynamics.

    Waldo Jaquith - On “activist” judges.

  • Lastly, there does seem, to me, to be an increase in "brittleness" and "strangeness" in little ways with many people across society, this maybe stemming from stress in today's society.

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • But he contends there is a quote, "brittleness" about her that could doom her in the general election.

    CNN Transcript Feb 27, 2006

  • He had noted the last time he was on leave that she assiduously avoided any mention of the war and anything connected to it, and there had been a kind of brittleness about her.

    Phoenix And Ashes

  • However, Sacob said there was still an element of "brittleness" in the business mood, and confidence remained vulnerable to the sharp increase in the net emigration of skill from the country, as well as the possible collapse of public administration.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • And even if you could get past it, you might then face the issue of "brittleness": if your database contains only facts you input manually, it breaks any time you ask it a question about something beyond that material.

    NDTV News - Top Stories

  • We've recently conducted several pilot studies in the Marcellus and other North American shales that have demonstrated how we can help our clients determine reservoir rock properties, such as brittleness and natural fracture networks, and help predict the geometry of hydraulically induced fractures, both of which are critical to well planning, stimulation and completion.

    ION Announces Multi-Client Seismic Survey in Marcellus Shale - Yahoo! Finance

  • Being sick is another understandable reason for "brittleness".

    Discussion Forum - TuDiabetes - A Community for People Touched by Diabetes


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