from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Capable of being broken; breakable. See Synonyms at fragile.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Able to be broken; breakable; fragile.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Capable of being broken; brittle; fragile; easily broken.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Capable of being broken; liable to fracture; breakable.

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

  • adj. capable of being broken


Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin frangibilis, from Latin frangere, to break; see bhreg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French frangible, from Medieval Latin frangibilis, from frangere ("break"). Cognate to fraction, fracture, and fragile. (Wiktionary)



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  • A material is said to be frangible if through deformation it tends to break up into fragments, rather than deforming elastically and retaining its cohesion as a single object. Common cookies or crackers are examples of frangible materials, while fresh bread, which deforms elastically, is not frangible.

    A structure is frangible if it breaks, distorts or yields on impact so as to present a minimum hazard to the vehicle. A frangible structure is usually designed to be frangible, and to be of minimum mass.

    A frangible light pole base is designed to break away when a vehicle strikes it. This lessens the risk of injury to occupants of the vehicle.

    A frangible bullet is one that is designed to disintegrate into tiny particles upon impact to minimize their penetration for reasons of range safety, to limit environmental impact, or to limit the danger behind the intended target. Frangible bullets will disintegrate upon contact with a surface harder than the bullet itself. Frangible bullets are often used by shooters engaging in close quarter combat training to avoid ricochets; targets are placed on steel backing plates that serve to completely fragment the bullet. Frangible bullets are typically made of non-toxic metals, and are frequently used on "green" ranges and outdoor ranges where lead abatement is a concern.

    June 19, 2015

  • Thanks for introducing me to this lovely word.

    January 21, 2007

  • oh very cool.

    January 21, 2007