fractious

adjective
frac·​tious | \ ˈfrak-shəs How to pronounce fractious (audio) \

Definition of fractious

1 : tending to be troublesome : unruly a fractious crowd
2 : quarrelsome, irritable a fractious political campaign

Keep scrolling for more

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 His fractious relationship with the business community sheds light on the internal turmoil that buffeted the country in the months before his July 7 death. Ryan Dube, WSJ, 21 July 2021 When Ryan’s estranged father, Frank (Kevin Sorbo), comes back into the picture in season four, wanting to mend their fractious relationship, Sandy is wary, to say the least. Lauren Pinnington, Vulture, 18 June 2021 In his most recent out 33 nights ago, this runner got slightly fractious prior to breaking slowly and getting bumped back by quicker opponents when losing multiple lengths of ground and any early racing momentum. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2021 Other items high on the agenda will hopefully be less fractious, including a new global minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15%, which foreign ministers agreed to last week, as well as a unified approach to climate change. David A. Andelman, CNN, 11 June 2021 In that outing, Strongly was rather fractious in the gate prior to bobbling outward to lose over a length of ground and his early racing momentum. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 29 May 2021 But the movement is more fractious, and less focused on electoral politics, than the police unions trying to unseat Krasner. Washington Post, 16 May 2021 The conflict adds complexity to Israel’s fractious politics. Nidal Al-mughrabi And Rami Ayyub, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 May 2021 But the United States continued to invest blood, treasure, and national prestige in a complicated mission to protect the American homeland from further attack and stabilize a fractious country where peace had long been a rarity. BostonGlobe.com, 9 May 2021

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.

See More

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About fractious

Time Traveler for fractious

Time Traveler

The first known use of fractious was in 1714

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About fractious

Dictionary Entries Near fractious

fractionize

fractious

fracto-

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for fractious

Last Updated

26 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fractious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fractious. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fractious

fractious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of fractious

: causing trouble : hard to manage or control
: full of anger and disagreement

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!