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 -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 In July 1967, one faction supported by the commander of the People’s Liberation Army forces in the region clashed with another backed by Cultural Revolution leaders in Beijing. Barbara Demick, The Atlantic, "Uncovering the Cultural Revolution’s Awful Truths," 18 Dec. 2020 While several groups of bandits are active there, the groups known to kidnap for ransom have links to the jihadist group Boko Haram and its breakaway faction, the Islamic State’s West Africa Province, known as ISWAP. Sam Olukoya, Anchorage Daily News, "Over 300 students still missing in Nigeria after gunmen attack school," 14 Dec. 2020 In fact, China’s new statists have much in common with a faction that swept through Germany in the early 20th century. Chang Che, The Atlantic, "The Nazi Inspiring China’s Communists," 1 Dec. 2020 Fifteen other pro-democracy legislators responded by quitting the legislature, leaving its pro-Beijing faction with a 39-to-2 majority. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | OTHERS SAY: A coup in Hong Kong," 14 Nov. 2020 But Biden will need McConnell’s cooperation, as well as that of a Democratic House with a robust progressive faction. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Biden's unifying message, optimism won the presidency," 7 Nov. 2020 CNN)Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed showed no sign on Thursday of halting a military campaign in the Tigray region, despite international pressure to avert civil war with a powerful ethnic faction. Reuters, CNN, "Ethiopia's Abiy resists diplomatic pressure to halt offensive," 5 Nov. 2020 And working with the conservative faction will inherently be an impediment to how far this caucus can go in fighting for Indigenous human and civic rights. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Elusive Dream of a Functioning Native Caucus," 2 Nov. 2020 The young climate activists working under the banner of the Sunrise Movement are poised to send more lawmakers to Washington next year than in 2018, with a congressional faction that could rise to as high as 10 after the election. Akshat Rathi, Bloomberg.com, "The Activist Trying to Bend the U.S. Congress Toward Climate," 15 Sep. 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of faction was in 1509

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Statistics for faction

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Faction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faction. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for faction


How to pronounce -faction (audio)

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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