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

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Synonyms for fraction

Synonyms

bit, fragment, piece, scrap

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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

But only a tiny fraction of those can be found in the U.S. as the spat between the world’s two biggest economies heats up. Charlie Cambell/beijing, Time, "Lei Jun Wants to Be China’s Answer to Steve Jobs. But Trump’s Trade War Is Getting In His Way," 12 July 2018 In fact, company representatives strenuously insisted that the keyboard issues have only affected a tiny, tiny fraction of its user base. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Apple’s new MacBook Pros have the latest Intel processors and quieter keyboards," 12 July 2018 Many of them are a tiny fraction of the size of the original IMP, and far more powerful. Katie Hafner, BostonGlobe.com, "Frank Heart, 89, of Lexington; linked computers before the Internet," 26 June 2018 Since 1926, most stockmarket returns in America have come from a tiny fraction of shares. The Economist, "Most stockmarket returns come from a tiny fraction of shares," 23 June 2018 Now, some physicists are back with a potential answer: a tiny fraction of dark matter has a charge, allowing it to interact with regular matter during the time between the Big Bang and formation of the Cosmic Microwave Background. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Could dark matter atoms explain a recent observation?," 3 June 2018 Keep in mind, previous work estimates the cost of implementing these initiatives to be somewhere around half a trillion dollars over 30 years, Burke said — a tiny fraction of the amount of money that those efforts would save. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "By getting serious about limiting global warming, the world could save itself more than $20 trillion," 23 May 2018 But those aren't essential features, and Fitbit's revenues from Coach are a tiny fraction of its device sales. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "Here's One Way to Keep Wearables on Wrists: Subscriptions," 15 May 2018 The machine could take me from A to B, moving at just a fraction of the speed that I'm used to. Chris Wilkinson, Ars Technica, "1990, meet 2018: How far does 20MHz of Macintosh IIsi power go today?," 1 July 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.

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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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Statistics for fraction

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for fraction

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

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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

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