—adj. 1. having hardness and rigidity but little tensile strength; breaking readily with a comparatively smooth fracture, as glass.
2. easily damaged or destroyed; fragile; frail: a brittle marriage. 3. lacking warmth, sensitivity, or compassion; aloof; self-centered: a self-possessed, cool, and rather brittle person. 4. having a sharp, tense quality: a brittle tone of voice. 5. unstable or impermanent; evanescent.
—n. a confection of melted sugar, usually with nuts, brittle when cooled: peanut brittle.