fac·tion | \ˈfak-shən \

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, -shə-nᵊl \ adjective
factionalism \ˈfak-shnə-ˌli-zəm, -shə-nə-ˌliz- \ noun
factionally \ˈfak-shnəl-ē, -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

But some parts of the legislation have been proposed before in separate bills, most of which collapsed from disputes among warring factions of the music industry. Ben Sisario, New York Times, "New Way to Pay Songwriters and Musicians in the Streaming Age Advances," 28 June 2018 Some White House officials blamed poor coordination among the opposing factions on Trump's team for his initial agreement with China, according to several people briefed on the matter. Jenny Leonard And Saleha Mohsin, chicagotribune.com, "Trump backs away from China deal under pressure by trade hawks," 23 May 2018 The comments underscored a growing debate among political factions in Iran over what to do after the US withdrawal. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Iran to negotiate with Europeans, Russia and China about remaining in nuclear deal," 8 May 2018 Political insiders said the swell there is likely due to disagreements among different factions within the Democratic establishment. Holly Otterbein, Philly.com, "Progressives hoping to shake up Philly's Democratic Party get good, and bad, news | Clout," 15 Mar. 2018 This greatly limited the range for bargaining and compromise among different Republican factions. Christopher Demuth Sr., National Review, "Repairing Our Fractured Politics," 11 Jan. 2018 Gottesdiener recalls that negotiating among five separate factions turned architecture into a combination of shuttle diplomacy and family therapy. Justin Davidson, Daily Intelligencer, "The Megamall–Hotel–Condo–Concert Hall That Ate New York City," 10 Jan. 2018 The hard Brexit faction in the House began making insurrectionary noises; Westminster went febrile; the chance of a Tory party coup against May was on everyone’s mind; further resignations were expected. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Did Trump Just Help Stop Brexit?," 13 July 2018 Such calls for unity also highlight, say others, that after 20 years, factions in the Islamic Republic are increasingly unable to cooperate on solving the country’s problems. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Iran protests: why Rouhani's foes are backing off their hard line," 2 July 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

12 Oct 2018

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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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