brittle (adj.)

"breaking easily and suddenly," late 14c., britel, perhaps from an unrecorded Old English adjective *brytel, related to brytan "to crush, pound, to break to pieces," from Proto-Germanic stem *brutila- "brittle," from *breutan "to break up" (source also of Old Norse brjota "to break," Old High German brodi "fragile"), from PIE *bhreu- "to cut, break up" (see bruise (v.)). With -le, suffix forming adjectives with meaning "liable to." Related: Brittleness.

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Definitions of brittle from WordNet
brittle (adj.)
having little elasticity; hence easily cracked or fractured or snapped;
glass is brittle
brittle bones
Synonyms: brickle / brickly
brittle (adj.)
lacking warmth and generosity of spirit;
a brittle and calculating woman
brittle (adj.)
(of metal or glass) not annealed and consequently easily cracked or fractured;
Synonyms: unannealed
brittle (n.)
caramelized sugar cooled in thin sheets;
Synonyms: toffee / toffy