fraction

noun
frac·​tion | \ˈfrak-shən \

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

The reality is, a very large fraction of progress on technologies happens through deployment. David Roberts, Vox, "Climate change policy can be overwhelming. Here’s a guide to the policies that work.," 30 Nov. 2018 Windows is now a dwindling fraction of Microsoft’s business. Matt O'brien, The Seattle Times, "Apple’s stock sours, Microsoft’s soars. Say what?!," 27 Nov. 2018 As the Supersport race roared around us, Hayes pointed out how riders use their particular strengths to shave fractions of a second off their times. Mitchell Nicholson, Popular Mechanics, "The Great American Motorcycle Racing Revival," 7 Sep. 2018 The discovery by IceCube, built at a cost of almost $280 million (a fraction of the $10 billion collider), was especially sweet for Halzen, 74. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blazing a trail: UW professor's dream leads to breakthrough in identifying origin of cosmic rays," 12 July 2018 In the end, only a fraction of the upgrades proposed by the engineering consultants were done. Richard Horan, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Poisoned City' tells the horrific story of Flint's contaminated water," 10 July 2018 But reducing levels of a problem protein made in the liver requires editing a large fraction of the organ’s cells. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Gene edited monkeys offer hope for heart disease patients," 9 July 2018 Since 2010, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club has pursued more than 500 visas for foreign workers from Romania and other countries, while hiring only a fraction of domestic workers who applied for seasonal work, according to reporting by The New York Times. Skyler Swisher, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Trump’s Mar-a-Lago wants to hire dozens of foreign workers," 6 July 2018 As a general rule, the sickest patients require the most expensive interventions, and a large fraction of the concentrated spending before death can be explained by how seriously ill these patients are. Orly Nadell Farber, STAT, "Are we spending too much on the dying? New research challenges this widely held view," 28 June 2018

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

8 Dec 2018

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 \

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 \

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

to enclose within walls

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!