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

Synonyms for fraction


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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 Even with the latest stock sales, Musk owns 155 million shares of Tesla, and has options to buy nearly 100 million more at a fraction of current prices. Chris Isidore, CNN, 9 Aug. 2022 With over 11,000 reviews and an average of 4.4 stars on Amazon, this bean bag chair comes at a fraction of the cost of other picks on our list. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, 5 Aug. 2022 Shoppers wait outside the event in hope of snagging a trendy designer piece at a small fraction of the usual cost. Morgan Sung, NBC News, 3 Aug. 2022 Bitcoin, the largest digital asset, trades at a fraction of its all-time high, down from more than $68,000 in November 2021 to about $23,000 on Wednesday. CBS News, 3 Aug. 2022 Those are the components of a Corsi-Rosenthal box, an inexpensive DIY device that pulls coronavirus and other contaminants from indoor air as effectively as many commercial air filters do, at a fraction of the cost. Corinne Purtill, Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 That means splurge-worthy brands with reviews to back the price tag, like Kiehl's, La Mer, and Mario Badescu—at a fraction of the price. Talia Abbas, Glamour, 29 July 2022 Adopting these measures could yield significant progress at a fraction of what was spent on the Covid-19 response, in part because hundreds of regenerative medicines and other therapies for rare diseases are already in development. Craig Martin, STAT, 23 July 2022 From a dreamy Loulou Studio cardigan to a virgin wool dress by Altuzarra, the time to stock up on cozy knits—at a fraction of the price—is now. Alexis Bennett, Vogue, 14 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fraction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for fraction


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.


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

More from Merriam-Webster on fraction

Nglish: Translation of fraction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fraction for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fraction


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