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

Last month, the House soundly defeated an immigration bill that Republican leaders had hoped would unite warring factions within their party. Maureen Groppe, Indianapolis Star, "Rep. Brooks 'overwhelmed' by the large numbers of migrant children crossing the border," 12 July 2018 The House soundly defeated a compromise immigration bill Wednesday that Republican leaders had hoped would unite warring factions within their party to fund President Trump's border wall and dramatically decrease legal immigration. Erin Kelly, USA TODAY, "House defeats latest immigration bill, turns focus to keeping families together at border," 27 June 2018 Presented to lawmakers Thursday, the measure sticks to Trump's immigration priorities while trying to join the party's warring conservative and moderate factions on an issue that has divided the GOP for years. Lisa Mascaro, chicagotribune.com, "House GOP unveils immigration bill along Trump's priorities, but passage far from certain," 14 June 2018 When the people decided to move, all the people of all the different factions moved with them. Ian Lee And Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, "Hamas claims 50 of its members died in Monday's clashes in Gaza," 16 May 2018 His tactic of capturing or killing kingpins caused the gangs to split into warring factions and to enter new lines of business. The Economist, "Mexico’s murder rate heads for a new record," 5 May 2018 What brings these usually warring factions together are some undeniable and interconnected realities. James Osborne, Houston Chronicle, "Carbon capture, viewed as critical to fossil fuel future, at a crossroads," 7 Feb. 2018 For six years, 14 factions, both Muslim and Christian, have been terrorizing the country. Wendy Naugle, Glamour, "Cynthia McFadden Went Into the Triangle of Death," 14 Mar. 2019 Gun violence is a handy symptom for any societal ill that one faction would like to see taken more seriously: the real problem is not guns — it’s men or drugs or sin or technology or mental illness or adolescence. Belinda Luscombe, Time, "The U.S. and Australia Had Mass Shootings One Week Apart. There Was a Crucial Difference in How They Responded," 23 May 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

27 Apr 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 speak slightingly about or to degrade

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