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A.Word.A.Day--frangible

Pronunciation RealAudio

frangible (FRAN-juh-buhl) adjective

Readily broken; breakable.

[From Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin frangibilis, from Latin frangere (to break). The same Latin root is responsible for breaking in a number of other words, such as chamfer, defray, fraction, refract, infringe, and fracture.]

"The red-gray, meringue like substance ices some of the cave's surfaces and ledges like cake frosting, from a millimeter to several inches thick, and is so frangible you could cut it with a butter knife."
Nelson, Peter, The cave that holds clues to life on Mars. (Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico), National Wildlife, 18 Aug 1996.

This week's theme: words with variant spellings.

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