fragile, frail
1. Fragile is pronounced fraj-iyl in BrE and fraj-ǝl in AmE.
2. Fragile is normally used of things being easily broken, whereas frail is normally used of people being infirm or in poor physical condition:

• The lectern at the Guildhall is a classic example of one that looks beautiful but is too small and fragile to use —H. Thomas & L. Gill, 1989

• After Charlotte's death in 1943, the villagers all noticed how extraordinarily frail and sunken Shaw looked —National Trust Magazine, 1990.

There is an overlap in meaning created by the figurative use of both words in the sense ‘weak, easily overturned’:

• OPEC last week managed to preserve its fragile unity —Observer, 1985

• The drinking, drug-taking and the high-pitched battles soon toppled the frail structure of their romance —J. Rose, 1990

• The fragile peace that has held in the holy city since June was shattered by deadly fighting that began late on Wednesday —Guardian, 2004.

In general, fragile tends to be used more often than frail in this meaning, whereas frail alone has the meaning ‘morally weak, easily yielding to temptation’.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • fragile — [ fraʒil ] adj. • 1361; lat. fragilis (→ frêle), de frangere « briser » 1 ♦ Qui se brise, se casse facilement (de par sa nature même). ⇒ cassant. Fragile comme du verre : très fragile. Emballer soigneusement un objet fragile. Attention, c est… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Fragile — may refer to:In music: * Fragile (Yes album), an album by Yes released in 1971 * Fragile (Dead or Alive album), an album by Dead or Alive released in 2000 * Fragile (Saron Gas album), an album by Saron Gas released in 2000 * The Fragile , an… …   Wikipedia

  • fragile — Fragile. adjectif de tout genre. Aisé à rompre, Sujet à se casser. Fragile comme un verre. un vaisseau fragile. la porcelaine est belle, mais elle est fragile. Il signifie fig. Qui n est pas solidement establi, Qui peut aisément estre destruit.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Fragile — может означать: В музыке: Fragile, альбом Yes 1971 года. Dead or Alive 2000 года. Fragile, альбом Saron Gas 2000 года. The Fragile, альбом Nine Inch Nails 1999 года. «Fragile», песня Стинга. Fragile Records, музыкальный лейбл. В кинематографе:… …   Википедия

  • fragile — 1 Fragile, frangible, brittle, crisp, short, friable mean easily broken. They are, however, not often interchangeable. Fragile (see also WEAK) is applicable to whatever must be handled or treated carefully lest it be broken {a fragile antique… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Fragile — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Fragile (frágil en inglés, puede referirse a: Fragile, un álbum del grupo de rock inglés Yes. Fragile, un álbum del grupo de rock español Savia. [Fragilesnc[1]] Import Export Company in Madrid y Verona /… …   Wikipedia Español

  • fragile — [fraj′əl; ] chiefly Brit & Cdn [, fraj′īl] adj. [< OFr < L fragilis < frangere, BREAK] 1. easily broken, damaged, or destroyed 2. physically weak; frail; delicate 3. tenuous; flimsy [a fragile hope] fragility [frə jil′ə tē] n …   English World dictionary

  • Fragile — Frag ile, a. [L. fragilis, from frangere to break; cf. F. fragile. See {Break}, v. t., and cf. {Frail}, a.] Easily broken; brittle; frail; delicate; easily destroyed. [1913 Webster] The state of ivy is tough, and not fragile. Bacon. Syn: Brittle; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fragile — bezeichnet einen spanischen Horrorfilm von 2005, siehe Fragile (Film) ein Album der Band Yes, siehe Fragile (Album) Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • fragile — UK US /ˈfrædʒaɪl/ US  /ˈfrædʒəl/ adjective ► easily harmed, damaged, or broken: »The fragile economy is under the pressure of floods at home and rising oil prices abroad. »The changes would be disastrous for the fragile recovery of the UK s oil… …   Financial and business terms

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