When can / should we use the word frangible?

Please give some examples of its use in a sentence.

I know that it is a very specific word, But I would like to know where this word appears: biology, physics, ...

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    @FumbleFingers This isn't a question about meaning but about appropriate use. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 8 '15 at 16:19
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    I know that it is a very specific word, But I would like to know where this word appears: biology, physics, ...? – Anna J. Nov 8 '15 at 16:26
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    @StoneyB: I agree your own answer that there are precious few "valid" contexts apart from frangible ammo/bullets/stone. And to be honest I wouldn't have used that dictionary example myself, 'cos I tend to think of it as implying intended to be broken [into small pieces], or suitable for being [deliberately] broken. So regardless of whether it's strictly "correct" or not, I'm okay with frangible soil which would more often be friable. – FumbleFingers Nov 8 '15 at 16:32
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    I am going to appeal on Meta and in Chat for this question to be reopened. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 8 '15 at 16:35
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    @User1 - That's interesting, but it doesn't answer the O.P.'s question. The entry says: "Common biscuits or crackers are examples of frangible materials, while fresh bread .. is not frangible." That may be so, but I would never tell my waitress: "Can I get some different crackers for my soup? These are not frangible enough." (Incidentally, there's been a bit of debate going on about this question. If you left the link just to be helpful, then thanks for being helpful. However, if you left the link thinking that it would prove this is general reference, then I'd ask folks to reconsider.) – J.R. Nov 9 '15 at 15:11

Frangible is a very fancy replacement for "breakable". Regardless of the examples you find in dictionaries, the word is virtually unused outside of very technical contexts such as engineering and product specifications. The first hundred hits returned on a Google search on the word yielded:

19 dictionary definitions
26 uses in technical specifications or rules involving "breakaway" safety devices
2 uses as screen names
2 uses for names of videogame entitites

All the rest were references to "frangible ammunition", bullets designed to break apart rather than deforming or ricocheting.

Unless you are an engineer or an avid gun-user, I think you can dismiss this word from your own use. In most ordinary contexts "breakable" will be a more natural term.

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    And the OP couldn't do a Google search or look in Wikipedia? These are as basic as dictionaries. – user20792 Nov 8 '15 at 22:46
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    ^The close rationale in a nutshell. – Nihilist_Frost Nov 8 '15 at 23:29
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    @User1, Nihilist The OP's problem is not about meaning it's about usage. When is it appropriate to use? That information is not given in a dictionary. – Araucaria - Not here any more. Nov 9 '15 at 12:08
  • +1 I think that some commenters and answerers on ELU who like to show off their vocab use it a bit! (maybe where this question came from?) – Araucaria - Not here any more. Nov 9 '15 at 12:09
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    @Araucaria - Ah, I forgot about the comments. Nice catch. – J.R. Nov 9 '15 at 18:45

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