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 The next crucial step would be intra-Afghan talks in which all factions, including the Taliban, would negotiate a road map for their country’s future. Kathy Gannon And Rahim Faiez, USA TODAY, "US starts pulling troops from Afghanistan as part of peace deal with Taliban," 10 Mar. 2020 The agreement sets the stage for peace talks involving Afghan factions, which are likely to be complicated. CBS News, "U.S., Taliban sign deal aimed at ending war in Afghanistan," 29 Feb. 2020 The agreement sets the stage for peace talks involving Afghani factions, which are likely to be complicated. oregonlive, "US, Taliban expected to sign peace deal," 28 Feb. 2020 Eventually emerging out of that bitter conflict came the two most prominent factions in Irish politics today: the Fine Gael (pro-treaty) and Fianna Fáil (anti-treaty). K. V. Turley, National Review, "All Change in Ireland," 5 Feb. 2020 Abbas reportedly met with leaders of other Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to come up with a response to the proposal. TheWeek, "Palestinian president 'categorically rejects' Trump’s peace plan," 28 Jan. 2020 The movement itself was comprised of multiple factions, each of which smuggled its own agenda under the big tent of temperance. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "Prohibition Was America’s First War on Drugs," 17 Jan. 2020 During his first months in office, President Trump greenlit a Pentagon plan to ramp up operations and drone strikes against the insurgency faction, estimated to have around 9,000 members. Fox News, "Who is the FBI’s most wanted American terrorist? Meet Jehad Serwan Mostafa," 9 Jan. 2020 Iran has close ties to Iraq's Shiite majority and major political factions, and its influence has steadily grown since then. Anchorage Daily News, "Militiamen withdraw from US Embassy but Iraq tensions linger," 2 Jan. 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

29 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Faction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faction. Accessed 7 Apr. 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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