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

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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 By the 1970s, dissident factions again organized against state oppression. Mneesha Gellman, The Conversation, "Deported to death: US sent 138 Salvadorans home to be killed," 6 Feb. 2020 Less contented, as the first electoral contest grows nigh, are that faction known as Never Trump Republicans. Marisa Kabas, The New Republic, "The Panic of the Never Trumpers," 31 Jan. 2020 However, Straus quickly assigned ever-greater duties to Capriglione, who soon was reviled by staunchly conservative activists such as Austin consultant Luke Macias as a traitor to their faction of the Texas GOP. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "Tarrant County lawmaker tapped to be Texas House’s chief budget writer," 17 Jan. 2020 While the monarch searched for a way forward, supporters of her family’s feuding factions used the British media to paint conflicting pictures of who was to blame for the royal rift. Jill Lawless, SFChronicle.com, "Queen Elizabeth summons family for summit on royal rift," 12 Jan. 2020 For Our Lives has also established a formal infrastructure, bringing individuals and statewide factions into the umbrella organization and appointing state boards and regional directors. Sarah Emily Baum, Teen Vogue, "March For Our Lives Executive Director Alexis Confer: A Conversation With Teen Vogue," 9 Jan. 2020 Boko Haram and its splinter faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province, are prevalent in the region. Fox News, "Grenade picked up by boy explodes on Nigeria-Cameroon border; 9 reported dead," 7 Jan. 2020 The eventual nominee will be tasked with splicing together the party's disparate factions — a job Hillary Clinton struggled with after defeating Sanders in a long and bitter primary fight in 2016. Arkansas Online, "Just 7 Democrats on stage for the latest presidential debate," 19 Dec. 2019 His faction of the Sudanese Liberation Army has, by some estimates, 2,000 fighters who are holed up in Darfur’s Jebel Marra. The Economist, "Sudan’s revolution could end the conflict in Darfur," 28 Nov. 2019

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

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Faction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faction?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=f&file=factio01. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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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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