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This article summarizes the understanding of the mechanisms and mechanical effects of fatigue processes in highly brittle materials, with particular emphasis on ceramics. It provides a discussion on room-temperature fatigue crack growth in monolithic ceramics, transformation-toughened ceramics, and ceramic composites under cyclic compression. The cyclic damage zones ahead of tensile fatigue cracks, crack propagation under cyclic tension or tension-compression loads, and elevated-temperature fatigue crack growth in monotonic and composite ceramics, are discussed. The article presents ceramic fatigue data for fatigue crack growth testing and concludes with a discussion on life prediction for ceramics or ceramic-matrix composites.

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