frac·​ture | \ ˈfrak-chər How to pronounce fracture (audio) , -shər \

Definition of fracture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the result of fracturing : break
2a : the act or process of breaking or the state of being broken especially : the breaking of hard tissue (such as bone)
b : the rupture (as by tearing) of soft tissue kidney fracture
3 : the general appearance of a freshly broken surface of a mineral


fractured; fracturing\ ˈfrak-​chə-​riŋ How to pronounce fracturing (audio) , -​shriŋ \

Definition of fracture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to cause a crack or fracture in : break fracture a rib
2a : to damage or destroy as if by rupturing
b : to cause great disorder in
c : to break up : fractionate
d : to go beyond the limits of (something, such as a rule) : violate fractured many of the laws of probability …— Sheldon Cheney

intransitive verb

: to undergo fracture : to crack or break Her wrist fractured in the fall.

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Examples of fracture in a Sentence

Noun a fracture in the Earth's crust She suffered a wrist fracture when she slipped on the ice. Verb Her wrist fractured when she fell on the ice. Their happiness was fractured by an unforeseen tragedy. These problems may fracture the unity of the two parties. Their fragile happiness fractured all too soon.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Haliburton’s season ended with that wrist fracture Feb. 8 against Kansas State. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Tyrese Haliburton more than just best 'facilitator' in NBA Draft; could he go to Suns?," 10 Oct. 2020 Last week in Milwaukee, Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones was hit in left hand with a pitch and suffered a fracture, ending his season. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Jonathan Schoop leaves Tuesday's game with right wrist contusion," 9 Sep. 2020 The fracture and an ensuing infection required 17 surgeries and nearly two years of rehabilitation. Luke Johnson,, "Drew Brees 'excited and happy' to see Washington's Alex Smith return to the field," 17 Aug. 2020 But Breaux never played another game in the NFL after his 2017 fracture. Amie Just,, "Delvin Breaux, former Saints player, sues ex-team doctors for alleged medical malpractice," 25 Sep. 2020 The lightning strike apparently hit one giraffe on the top of its head, judging by a fracture in the skull near the base of its antler-like ossicone, George Dvorsky reports for Gizmodo. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Are Giraffes Doomed to be Struck by Lightning Because of Their Height?," 24 Sep. 2020 Except Williams' autopsy report showed no alcohol in this blood, and his fatal skull fracture stretched for several inches behind his ear. Mike Masterson, Arkansas Online, "MASTERSON ONLINE: Why not discussion?," 19 Sep. 2020 For now, Robinson and the Bears seem capable of suppressing the discord, equipped to keep any friction from becoming a fracture. Dan Wiederer,, "Chicago Bears Week 2 storylines for Sunday’s home opener: Allen Robinson’s agitation, Saquon Barkley’s dud and a timeless reminder on quarterbacks from Mark Sanchez," 18 Sep. 2020 Wade Vagias, superintendent of the Craters of the Moon, said one fracture has the potential to collapse. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Student rallies, high school pay-per-view, $500 tips: News from around our 50 states," 10 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hydraulic fracking is a technique in which water, sand or chemicals are injected into the earth to fracture formations and loosen up oil, which Newsom said accounts for about 2% of the state's oil production. Winston Gieseke, USA TODAY, "In California: State to ban sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035, and CSU gets a new chancellor," 24 Sep. 2020 And while 35% of Americans say the country’s political divisions will get worse if Biden is elected, half of all Americans believe a second Trump term would further fracture the country. Justin Sink,, "Trump’s Bare-Knuckle Night With Biden Risks Repelling Key Voters," 30 Sep. 2020 Ford is recalling 38,005 2020 Mustang vehicles to replace a brake-pedal bracket that could fracture during hard braking. Laura Sky Brown, Car and Driver, "2020 Ford Mustang Recalled over Brake Problem," 28 Sep. 2020 Big picture: Experts warn that Washington's playbook for dealing with foreign companies is starting to mimic Beijing's, amplifying the risk that the world's internet could fracture beyond repair. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Amazon's Prime Day highlights the huge stakes ahead for retail," 28 Sep. 2020 What the governor didn't directly address was what the state planned to do about the process of steam fracking or high-pressure cyclic steaming, in which scalding steam, without chemicals, is injected below ground to fracture formations. Winston Gieseke, USA TODAY, "In California: State to ban sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035, and CSU gets a new chancellor," 24 Sep. 2020 Among its top concerns: oil producers and the agency were not properly testing or tracking injection pressures, which if too high could fracture underground formations. ProPublica, "Oil Companies Are Profiting From Illegal Spills. And California Lets Them.," 18 Sep. 2020 This would cause the disk around the three stars to fracture into distinct rings. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Tatooine-like exoplanet could be orbiting in this triple-star system," 3 Sep. 2020 But 2024 considerations will eventually fracture that coalition, at least during the primaries. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "'Divisive' Trump gets Republicans to paper over differences," 26 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fracture.' 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 fracture


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1612, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for fracture


Middle English, borrowed from Latin frāctūra "act of breaking, breaking of a bone," from frāctus (past participle of frangere "to break, shatter") + -ūra -ure — more at break entry 1


derivative of fracture entry 1

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Learn More about fracture

Time Traveler for fracture

Time Traveler

The first known use of fracture was in the 15th century

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Statistics for fracture

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fracture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for fracture


How to pronounce fracture (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fracture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the result of breaking something : a crack or break especially : a broken bone



English Language Learners Definition of fracture (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause a crack or break in (something hard, such as a bone)
of something hard : to crack or break
: to damage or destroy (something) or to be damaged or destroyed in a sudden or violent way


frac·​ture | \ ˈfrak-chər How to pronounce fracture (audio) \

Kids Definition of fracture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the result of breaking : damage or an injury caused by breaking a bone fracture


fractured; fracturing

Kids Definition of fracture (Entry 2 of 2)

: break entry 1 sense 2 fracture a rib


frac·​ture | \ ˈfrak-chər, -shər How to pronounce fracture (audio) \

Medical Definition of fracture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or process of breaking or the state of being broken specifically : the breaking of hard tissue and especially bone
2 : the rupture (as by tearing) of soft tissue kidney fracture
fractured; fracturing\ -​chə-​riŋ, -​shriŋ How to pronounce fracturing (audio) \

Medical Definition of fracture (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to cause a fracture in fracture a rib
2 : to cause a rupture or tear in a blow that fractured a kidney

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