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

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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 Although the move is the most aggressive so far by a major cruise group, the Princess line’s 18 vessels are just a fraction of the more than 100 operated by Carnival. Jonathan Levin,, "Carnival’s Princess Halts Cruises for 60 Days on Virus," 10 May 2020 LCMC Health, a five-hospital system in New Orleans that was hit hard by the outbreak, has received some federal relief money -- which wasn't insignificant, but is only a fraction of what LCMC is projected to lose, said CEO Greg Feirn. Tami Luhby, CNN, "Health care spending has actually plunged in the middle of the pandemic. Here's why," 7 May 2020 That's only a fraction of the more than 5.8 million tests researchers estimate have been taken nationwide, Rachel Lerman reports. Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Amazon wasn't prepared for the coronavirus. Now it's facing major costs.," 30 Apr. 2020 The cost for Haven for Hope is a fraction of the cost of the Multnomah County program for the homeless, which is appearing on the May primary ballot through the housing bond. oregonlive, "Portland Commissioner Position 2 candidates explain if they feel the city is doing enough to address housing, homelessness," 25 Apr. 2020 The pages that were removed are only a fraction of the reach of other QAnon groups and pages on Facebook, however, reflecting the difficulty of moderating content tied to extremism that doesn't necessarily violate Facebook's policies. NBC News, "Facebook removes some QAnon pages, citing inauthentic behavior," 24 Apr. 2020 In December, Sam's Club opened a lab store in Dallas, a location that's just a fraction of the size of a regular Sam's Club, but one teeming with new tech. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "EBay taps longtime Walmart retail tech innovator to be its new CEO," 13 Apr. 2020 Some leaned toward the simple fact that those alternatives are a fraction of the cost of prescription pills. John Caniglia, cleveland, "Ohio doctors, pharmacies slash number of opioid pills distributed last year," 8 Apr. 2020 The company will create new office hubs in Denver, Dallas and Atlanta, where real estate costs are a fraction of the Bay Area. Roland Li,, "Facebook’s embrace of remote work could reshape Bay Area economy," 21 May 2020

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.

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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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Time Traveler for fraction

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fraction

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fraction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce fraction (audio)

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


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

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