fac·​tion | \ ˈfak-shən How to pronounce faction (audio) \

Definition of faction

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a party or group (as within a government) that is often contentious or self-seeking : clique The committee soon split into factions.
2 : party spirit especially when marked by dissension faction, or the irreconcilable conflict of parties— Ernest Barker

Definition of -faction (Entry 2 of 2)

: making : -fication petrifaction

Other Words from faction


factional \ ˈfak-​shnəl How to pronounce -faction (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
factionalism \ ˈfak-​shnə-​ˌli-​zəm How to pronounce -faction (audio) , -​shə-​nə-​ˌliz-​ \ noun
factionally \ ˈfak-​shnəl-​ē How to pronounce -faction (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl-​ē \ adverb

Synonyms for faction

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of faction in a Sentence

Noun The committee soon split into factions. several factions within the environmental movement have joined forces to save this wilderness area
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Still, the party’s most leftward faction has expressed no desire to pull back. New York Times, 13 Jan. 2022 But Bennett heads an unwieldy coalition of parties from across the political spectrum — ranging from nationalist parties to dovish liberal ones and even an Islamist faction — that was united behind the goal of ousting Netanyahu and very little else. NBC News, 4 Jan. 2022 Each faction has accused the opposing side of betraying the pro-Trump cause or misusing the millions of dollars in funds that have gone to groups such as Powell’s Defending the Republic. Drew Harwell, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Jan. 2022 Los Chapitos have been increasingly active in Baja California, starting at the beginning of 2021, and have caused an upsurge of violence in Mexicali as their faction battles for control of the eastern region of the state. Wendy Fry, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Dec. 2021 Netanyahu’s right-wing faction failed to stage a comeback during the new government’s first months in office. Washington Post, 12 Dec. 2021 The archipelago's pro-independence faction has called for a boycott of the referendum after the French government refused requests to postpone it. Grayson Quay, The Week, 11 Dec. 2021 Each faction presents itself as constituting the authentic left, and the conflict will continue long after the November election. John R. Macarthur, Harper’s Magazine , 7 Dec. 2021 The political movement the U.S. has backed in Venezuela to challenge the country’s authoritarian government is on the verge of breaking up after a major faction announced its withdrawal on Sunday. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, 5 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'faction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of faction


1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for faction


borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French faccion, borrowed from Latin factiōn-, factiō "act of making, social set, band, group, self-seeking political group," from facere "to make, bring about, place, classify" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at fact

Note: A doublet of faction is fashion entry 1, from the Gallo-Romance outcome of Latin factiō, which maintains only the meaning "act of making," sparsely attested outside of early Latin except in legal use.

Noun combining form

borrowed from Latin -factiōn-, -factiō (as in satisfactiōn-, satisfactiō satisfaction)

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Time Traveler for faction

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The first known use of faction was in 1509

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Dictionary Entries Near faction

fact in issue



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Statistics for faction

Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Faction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faction. Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for faction



English Language Learners Definition of faction

: a group within a larger group that has different ideas and opinions than the rest of the group

More from Merriam-Webster on faction

Nglish: Translation of faction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of faction for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about faction


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