fractious

adjective

frac·​tious ˈfrak-shəs How to pronounce fractious (audio)
1
: tending to be troublesome : unruly
a fractious crowd
2
: quarrelsome, irritable
a fractious political campaign
fractiously adverb
fractiousness noun

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Did you know?

The Latin verb frangere means "to break or shatter" and is related to a few common words, which is evident in their meanings. Dishes that are fragile break easily. A person whose health is easily broken might be described as frail. A fraction is one of the many pieces into which a whole can be broken. But fraction also once meant "disharmony" or "discord"—that is, a "rupture in relations." From this noun sense came the adjective fractious.

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Example Sentences

The fractious crowd grew violent.
Recent Examples on the Web Practical points of view have been difficult to come by in Pink Floyd, especially given the long fractious relationship — and history of litigation — between Waters and the band’s other members. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Sep. 2022 During the next three decades, Packard and Montgomery (who died in 2014) weathered an evolving, sometimes fractious relationship. Leslie Jamison, The New Yorker, 12 Sep. 2022 In the backdrop of Bayou’s tragic romance is his fractious relationship with his brother. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Sep. 2022 British politicians across the political spectrum united in sorrow Thursday at the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a passing that brought the country's usually fractious politics to a halt. Tucker Reals, Haley Ott, CBS News, 9 Sep. 2022 British politicians across the political spectrum united in sorrow Thursday at the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a passing that brought the country's usually fractious politics to a halt. Jill Lawless, ajc, 8 Sep. 2022 That’s why New York’s Democratic primaries Tuesday were so fractious and chaotic. Nicholas Riccardi, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Aug. 2022 Sometimes cats who are particularly fractious — or short-tempered — need to be medicated or under anesthesia for vet technicians to clip their nails. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 6 July 2022 Britain, too, is mulling tough new measures, putting more pressure on prime minister Boris Johnson's standing with his fractious Conservative Party. Fortune, 20 Dec. 2021 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

fract(ion) (in sense "rupture, discord, breach of the peace") + -ious (after captious, factious)

First Known Use

1714, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fractious was in 1714

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Dictionary Entries Near fractious

Cite this Entry

“Fractious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fractious. Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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Last Updated: 24 Sep 2022

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