I look up the word 'frangible'. Its etymology shows

[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin frangibilis, from Latin frangere, to break; see bhreg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

Does it mean this is

  • a Middle English word
  • borrowed from Old French
  • borrowed from Medieval Latin 'frangibilis'
  • derived from Latin 'frangere'
  • You don't mention the reference to PIE *bhreg-; that's the most interesting of all. That's even more distantly related, but it sums up the basic idea and shows how a word (in this case the English word break) has had a pretty good two and a half millennia, spawning descendants of all shapes and sizes.
    – jlawler
    Jun 12, 2020 at 19:50
  • Should be posted at English Language & Usage.
    – curiousdannii
    Jun 13, 2020 at 0:16
  • I’m voting to close this question because it would be better on ELU or Language Learning.
    – Draconis
    Jun 13, 2020 at 4:05
  • 1
    This is about how to read a resource on etymology. It's on-topic (as much as the front matter of the dictionary would have easily answered the question).
    – Nardog
    Jun 14, 2020 at 6:44

1 Answer 1


Yes, mostly. It is first attested in Middle English; it is borrowed from Old French frangible, which is borrowed from Medieval frangibilis (an alternative analysis which they do not adopt is that the Middle English comes from Medieval Latin and not Old French). The step "from frangere" involves a different sense of "from". The chain from frangible to frangibilis is a series of historical "same word, added to a different language". Latin frangibilis isn't "from" frangere in the same way, rather, frangere, frangere, frangō etc all derive synchronically in Latin from the same root, and one of the conventions for identifying roots in Latin is to give the infinitive (or, the 1st singular present).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.