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

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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

Klinenberg is interested in the ways that common spaces can repair our fractious and polarized civic life. Eric Klinenberg, The New York Review of Books, "Sue Halpern," 18 Apr. 2019 There is also no guarantee the team could get any spending cuts through a fractious and divided congress. Jeffrey T. Lewis, WSJ, "In Brazil, Big Plans and No Money," 3 Oct. 2018 The point is the crowd itself, a cross-section of a diverse and often fractious nation, united in celebration of what holds them together rather than what pulls them apart. Eugene Robinson, The Mercury News, "Robinson: Trump’s making DC’s 4th of July a rally to honor himself," 18 June 2019 Norcross and some of his business partners contend in a lawsuit that the task force is a political tool created by Murphy to gain leverage inside the state’s fractious Democratic Party. Jeff Pillets, ProPublica, "More Instances of Fraud and Mismanagement Over New Jersey Tax Incentives Surface in New Report," 18 June 2019 In October 1608, the fractious painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio made a daring escape from a Maltese prison and set sail for the Sicilian port of Messina. Ingrid D. Rowland, The New York Review of Books, "‘A Painter Not Human’," 9 May 2019 As with so much else in these fractious times, the culprit was social media. Shoaib Daniyal, Quartz India, "Haleem or Daleem? WhatsApp university fuels debate over Ramzan delicacy," 4 June 2019 Current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei presides over a country that still fiercely resists U.S. pressure, but is far more fractious than in the years following the 1979 revolution. Sune Engel Rasmussen, WSJ, "As Iran Marks Its Anniversary, Economic Woes Cloud a Pitch for Unity," 10 Feb. 2019 The movie also nurtures Ismael's fractious but ongoing relationship with Carlotta's father, Henri Bloom (László Szabó), himself a veteran filmmaker who at one point pulls the action toward Tel Aviv and into a consideration of modern Jewish identity. Justin Chang,, "'Ismael's Ghosts' is a messy but vibrant drama from French director Arnaud Desplechin," 5 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

12 Jul 2019

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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