From Middle English fraccioun ("a breaking"), from Anglo-Norman, from Old French fraction, from Medieval Latin fractio ("a fragment, portion"), from earlier Latin fractio ("a breaking, a breaking into pieces"), from fractus (English fracture), past participle of frangere ("to break") (whence English frangible), from Proto-Indo-European *b?reg- (English break).
fraction (plural fractions)
- A part of a whole, especially a comparatively small part.
1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, ->ISBN, page vii:
With fresh material, taxonomic conclusions are leavened by recognition that the material examined reflects the site it occupied; a herbarium packet gives one only a small fraction of the data desirable for sound conclusions. Herbarium material does not, indeed, allow one to extrapolate safely: what you see is what you get [...]
- (arithmetic) A ratio of two numbers, the numerator and the denominator, usually written one above the other and separated by a horizontal bar.
- (chemistry) A component of a mixture, separated by fractionation.
- In a eucharistic service, the breaking of the host.
- A small amount.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
I had occasion [...] to make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago, and on my return [...] I found Farrar awaiting me in the railway station. He smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting, [...], and finally leading me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town.
2011 January 29, Chris Bevan, "Torquay 0-1 Crawley Town", in BBC:
After kick-off was delayed because of crowd congestion, Torquay went closest to scoring in a cagey opening 30 minutes, when Danny Stevens saw a fierce shot from the edge of the area swerve a fraction wide.
- The act of breaking, or state of being broken, especially by violence.
- (Can we date this quote by Foxe and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
- Neither can the natural body of Christ be subject to any fraction or breaking up.
Terms derived from fraction (noun)
Terms etymologically related to fraction
chemistry: component separated by fractionation
eucharistic service: breaking of the host
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
fraction (third-person singular simple present fractions, present participle fractioning, simple past and past participle fractioned)
- To divide or break into fractions.
- "fraction" in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995-present.
- "fraction" in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 2000, ->ISBN.
- "fraction" in WordNet 2.0, Princeton University, 2003.
From Old French fraction, borrowed from Latin fractio, fractionem.
fraction f (plural fractions)
- fraction (small amount)
- Je me suis endormi pendant une fraction de secondes.
- (mathematics) fraction
- En divisant deux par trois, on obtient une fraction irréductible.
- fraction, breakup