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

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Other Words from faction


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

Synonyms for faction

Synonyms: Noun

bloc, block, body, coalition, party, sect, set, side, wing

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Examples of faction in a Sentence


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

The new draft was introduced during a meeting of the Finance Committee in Anchorage, a compromise between the Wasilla and Juneau locations favored by different legislative factions last week. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Legislature update: House panel introduces legislation to reverse governor’s vetoes and fix other gaps in budget," 16 July 2019 Major protests erupted, particularly over the process of writing a new constitution in which critics said the Brotherhood was sidelining other factions and allowing Islamists to write a charter largely on their terms. Time, "Egypt's Former President Mohammed Morsi Dies in Court During Trial," 17 June 2019 As the heir of both the House of Tudor and the House of York, Arthur was a keystone in Henry VII's plan to prevent rival factions from rising against his claim to the throne and maintaining peace in the kingdom. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The Cause of Prince Arthur Tudor's Death Remains a Medical Mystery," 13 May 2019 For the planned duration of the marches, from March 30 until after May 15, no rockets were fired by Hamas or other factions, despite Israel’s live-fire policy. Tareq Baconi, The New York Review of Books, "One Year of Gaza Protests. A New Era of Palestinian Struggle?," 29 Mar. 2019 Other factions that have fought alongside Kurdish forces are urging the U.S. to remain in Syria. Nazih Osseiran, WSJ, "Syrian Forces Move to Protect Syrian Kurds Fighting Islamic State," 28 Dec. 2018 Wexton, a former prosecutor and state senator, was well-known in the district and is well-liked by many different factions of the Democratic Party. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Jennifer Wexton elected to US House of Representatives: in northern Virginia, Democrats flip their first seat," 7 Nov. 2018 Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, and other Islamist factions have backed the movement. Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, "The Gazan leading a popular uprising against Israel," 14 May 2018 They are encouraged by anti-establishment factions softening their anti-euro rhetoric and a new electoral law that steers parties toward building coalitions, threatening the Five Star’s go-it-alone approach. Bloomberg.com, "Investors Still Don’t Seem Fazed by Italy’s Election," 27 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for faction

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for faction

The first known use of faction was in 1509

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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

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Comments on faction

What made you want to look up faction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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