fraction

noun
frac·​tion | \ ˈfrak-shən How to pronounce fraction (audio) \

Definition of fraction

1a : a numerical representation (such as ³/₄, ⁵/₈, or 3.234) indicating the quotient of two numbers
b(1) : a piece broken off : fragment
(2) : a discrete unit : portion
2 : one of several portions (as of a distillate) separable by fractionation
3 : bit, little a fraction closer

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for fraction

Synonyms

bit, fragment, piece, scrap

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of fraction in a Sentence

a fraction of an inch if even a tiny fraction of that cookie broke off and fell into the delicate watch works, it could mess things up

Recent Examples on the Web

And at a fraction of the previous price, it can be carried by every police officer, firefighter, EMT, and other emergency-service personnel in a city. Dan Dubno, Popular Mechanics, "This Tiny Device Can Detect Nuclear Armageddon," 25 Apr. 2019 Other countries currently provide good health care to residents at a fraction of the U.S. cost. Robert Pollin, WSJ, "The Case for Medicare for All," 28 Mar. 2019 Vegetarian protein sources like tofu, tempeh, beans, cheese, and eggs fill me up just as well as their meaty counterparts, often at a fraction of the price. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "14 Meatless Meals That Cost Less Than $2," 16 Jan. 2019 In Mic’s case, since the company was short on cash and therefore sold at a fraction of its valuation, there’s only so much financial compensation for employees the union can bargain for. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "As digital media companies brace for change, unions try to cushion the blow," 26 Dec. 2018 Commodity goods like paper towels, exercise mats, and power strips can be easily cloned at a fraction of the cost. New York Times, "Amazon, the Brand Buster," 23 June 2018 Compared with new drugs, Bloom said, repurposed ones are more than twice as likely to make it to patients, on a shorter time frame and at a fraction of the cost. Aimee Swartz, Washington Post, "Viagra and many other drugs were discovered by chance. Now science is hoping to change that.," 13 May 2018 The woman walks behind the counter and takes his order the old-fashioned way, in a fraction of the time. Nate Berg, Curbed, "McDonald’s 2.0," 11 Apr. 2018 The forecast called for between 6 and 10 inches of snow and strong wind gusts from Sunday night into Monday morning, but the city saw only a fraction of that. Katie Honan And Leslie Brody, WSJ, "De Blasio Defends Decision to Close Schools," 4 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fraction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of fraction

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fraction

Middle English fraccioun "act or result of breaking, mathematical fraction," borrowed from Medieval Latin frāctiōn-, frāctiō "breaking, division into parts, mathematical fraction," going back to Late Latin, "breaking, weariness, illness," from Latin frag-, variant stem of frangere "to break, shatter" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at break entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fraction

Statistics for fraction

Last Updated

12 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fraction

The first known use of fraction was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fraction

fraction

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fraction

mathematics : a number (such as ¹/₂ or ³/₄) which indicates that one number is being divided by another also : a number (such as 3.323) that consists of a whole number and a decimal
: a part or amount of something

fraction

noun
frac·​tion | \ ˈfrak-shən How to pronounce fraction (audio) \

Kids Definition of fraction

1 : a number (as ¹/₂, ²/₃, ¹⁷/₁₀₀) that indicates one or more equal parts of a whole or group and that may be considered as indicating also division of the number above the line by the number below the line
2 : a part of a whole : fragment I sold the car for a fraction of what I paid for it.

fraction

noun
frac·​tion | \ ˈfrak-shən How to pronounce fraction (audio) \

Medical Definition of fraction

: one of several portions (as of a distillate) separable by fractionation gamma globulin is a fraction of blood plasma

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on fraction

What made you want to look up fraction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!