from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Readily crumbled; brittle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Easily crumbled or pulverized; easily reduced to powder, as pumice.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Easily crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Easily broken into small fragments, crumbled, or reduced to powder.
  • adjective of soil Loose and large-grained in consistency.
  • adjective Likely to crumble and become airborne, thus becoming a health risk

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

  • adjective easily broken into small fragments or reduced to powder


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

[Latin friābilis, from friāre, to crumble.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin friābilis, from friō ("to crumble").


  • It is, however, never justifiable deliberately to break a friable foreign body with the hope that the fragments will be expelled, for these may be aspirated into small bronchi, and cause multiple abscesses.

    Bronchoscopy and Esophagoscopy A Manual of Peroral Endoscopy and Laryngeal Surgery

  • And then there's non-friable, which is generally found on the inside and does become easily airborne.

    TOP STORIES - YNN, Your News Now

  • There's friable, which is generally found on the outside of the buildings and doesn't become easily airborne.

    TOP STORIES - YNN, Your News Now

  • Mine don't really hurt, though I've been told I have a "friable" cervix that was fun to hear, and the pap smear always just makes me cringe up - it's not so much that it hurts as much as that it just feels wrong wrong wrong...

    One Bright Star (1B*) Reignited

  • The kind of asbestos most commonly referenced is "friable" asbestos, which is defined by EPA as asbestos that can be reduced to dust by hand pressure.

    The Denver Newspaper Agency Stories

  • Given that the manganese is very friable, that is, crumbly, we think that this technique will work. "

    News & Features from Minnesota Public Radio

  • We are incredibly lucky with the friable, chocolatey soil we inherited from Mary's late husband Don to which we add biodynamic prep 500, cow manure mulch and regular dosings of comfrey and nettles.

    Get set, go

  • I place my friable, mortal body here, between it -- it is always an "it"-

    Elizabeth Boleman-Herring: Alas for the Egg That Is Greece

  • You could have all those beds nicely composted and friable, reading for sowing next April/May ...

    Jean's Knitting

  • In the distance, on the low, easy-sloping hills, he saw team after team, and many teams, three to a team abreast, what he knew were his Shire mares, drawing the plows back and forth across, contour-plowing, turning the green sod of the hillsides to the rich dark brown of humus-filled earth so organic and friable that it would almost melt by gravity into fine-particled seed-bed.



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  • ...the buttressed wall of orange biscuit-like

    dry bricks, crisp, friable...

    - Peter Reading, Brabyns Park, from For the Municipality's Elderly, 1974

    June 22, 2008

  • friable soil is soil that is good to work with.

    August 27, 2008

  • "The most challenging part “was the emotional intensity of recovering the fossils themselves,” says Elliott. “There was so much material and it was friable and delicate. And every day, we realized that we were pulling out another 40 or 60 fragments of this thing that was going to be incredible.”

    from the Sept 10, 2015 Atlantic article describing the discoveries of Homo naledi in South Africa.

    September 12, 2015