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brittle (adj) hard but easily broken; delicate; easily damaged.
Substances like glass and porcelain which break easily are brittle. The dry branches of a tree are brittle, because they are broken easily. Friendships or relationships which cannot last long, and end for the slightest of reasons, are brittle. Brittle peace or brittle cease-fire agreements last only for a short time and are easily violated. A person with a brittle temperament is one who looks happy, but is nervous. A brittle laugh has a hard, sharp, and unpleasant sound, indicating a lack of warmth.
- Their love affair can only be described as brittle, as it ended no sooner than it began. It did not take long for them to see that they were not made for each other.
- A brittle laugh was all that he had from her in response to his proposal that they marry. It shattered his last hope of a marriage with her.
- The flower vase lay shattered on the ground, as the child who took it for a toy let it drop on the floor.