frac·​tious | \ˈfrak-shəs \

Definition of fractious 

1 : tending to be troublesome : unruly a fractious crowd

2 : quarrelsome, irritable a fractious political campaign

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Other Words from fractious

fractiously adverb
fractiousness noun

Did You Know?

The Latin verb frangere ("to break or shatter") has many modern English relations. Dishes that are "fragile" can 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, meaning "unruly" or "quarrelsome." Though the "disharmony" sense of the noun is now obsolete, "fractious" is still common today.

Examples of fractious in a Sentence

The fractious crowd grew violent.

Recent Examples on the Web

So, again, the 1631 campaign went all the way in the other direction, giving up on the chimera of bipartisan cooperation and instead seeking to knit together the fractious left. David Roberts, Vox, "Washington votes no on a carbon tax — again," 6 Nov. 2018 Facebook, a driver of our fractious political debate, can be seen as profiting from the fallout. Casey Newton, The Verge, "One way Twitter’s ad archive improves on Facebook’s," 3 Nov. 2018 Facebook, a driver of our fractious political debate, can be seen as profiting from the fallout. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Political Reality: Buy Ads on Facebook or Risk Losing the Election," 2 Nov. 2018 Nevertheless, the relationship between the club and fans has become increasingly fractious since the move to the London Stadium, and the club's owners will be expected to spend in the summer window., "West Ham United Set to Appoint Malaga's Mario Husillos as New Head of Recruitment," 29 May 2018 Goodell insisted the league met with countless players over the last year to get their input on the fractious anthem debate anthem, which some have even pointed to as a major reason for the NFL's declining TV ratings. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "NFL national anthem policy stirs reaction as 49ers owner says he abstained," 23 May 2018 In that meeting, May had appeared to win over her fractious cabinet and secure approval for her plan, which was to be published as soon as this week in a lengthy White Paper that would stake out Britain's vision for future relations with Europe. William Booth And Karla Adam,, "British PM Theresa May's government thrown into turmoil with surprise resignation of 'Brexit minister'," 9 July 2018 The latter incident has led to a hugely fractious relationship between the NTSB and the car-maker, which released details of its own investigations—blaming the dead driver—against the agency’s wishes. David Meyer, Fortune, "Tesla Is Now Facing 4 Active U.S. Government Crash Investigations After Another Fatal Collision," 10 May 2018 But there is not yet any coordinated effort about where to deploy Trump, and there are divisions within his ever-fractious circle of advisers about how to approach the elections. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump dismisses midterm threat, alarming GOP," 28 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of fractious

1714, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fractious

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

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Statistics for fractious

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fractious

The first known use of fractious was in 1714

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More Definitions for fractious



English Language Learners Definition of fractious

: causing trouble : hard to manage or control

: full of anger and disagreement

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