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 fracture (audio) , -​shriŋ \

Definition of fracture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to cause a crack or fracture in : break fracture a rib
b : rupture, tear
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.

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Joel Embiid, the second-place finisher in the voting for the Most Valuable Player Award, missed part of the series because of a concussion and an orbital bone fracture. New York Times, 17 May 2022 With All-Star center Joel Embiid sidelined by an orbital fracture and a concussion, the Sixers started Jordan in his place. Bryan Toporek, Forbes, 3 May 2022 Embiid, who sustained a facial fracture and concussion in Game 6 of the first round and is dealing with a torn ligament in his right (shooting) thumb, did not travel to Miami and will miss Game 2 on Wednesday. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, 3 May 2022 The 76ers were without Joel Embiid, the MVP finalist who isn’t even in Miami while recovering from an orbital fracture and concussion — injuries suffered in Philadelphia’s first-round-clinching win at Toronto. oregonlive, 2 May 2022 Clearly, the 76ers are not going to be a better team without Embiid, the scoring champion and MVP finalist currently sidelined by a right orbital fracture and mild concussion. Tim Reynolds, ajc, 1 May 2022 UConn announced Tuesday that women’s basketball star Paige Bueckers will be out for an estimated 6-8 weeks after MRI and CT scans revealed a tibial plateau fracture. Alexa Philippou,, 7 Dec. 2021 Andrus stayed on the ground for several moments before being helped into the dugout, and X-rays taken revealed the fracture., 26 Sep. 2021 Cody Bellinger was scheduled to play, but his nightmare season took another turn for the worse in the morning when a test revealed a non-displaced fracture in his ribs, according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Los Angeles Times, 18 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some women’s rights activists thus steered clear of the matter, worrying that such a divisive issue would fracture the all too important suffrage movement. Jennifer Wilson, The New Republic, 28 June 2022 Bringing up tomatoes has felt like a way to reach back to my Italian-American upbringing in a time when time and politics can fracture ideas of family. Lindsay Crudele,, 21 June 2022 Quills need to be broken in, feathers fracture, and that’s before any real handwriting is mastered. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, 10 June 2022 The former official urged Western forces not to attempt a total defeat of Russia in Ukraine, saying that such an outcome would destabilize Europe and fracture international relationships. Fox News, 24 May 2022 Anti-immigrant parties — which also happened to be anti-European Union — threatened to fracture the bloc further. New York Times, 18 Aug. 2021 And the situation could get even worse: The Ukraine war could fracture global trade and financial networks, and soaring food prices could spark social unrest in importing countries. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, 7 June 2022 Other party leaders worry that shunning progressive policies on crime could fracture their coalition, angering progressive activists and younger liberals. New York Times, 3 June 2022 But rather than affirming that consensus, recent developments could now fracture and muddy it, with important ramifications for all social media users. Brian Fung, CNN, 16 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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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Dictionary Entries Near fracture



fracture cleavage

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Statistics for fracture

Last Updated

4 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fracture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for fracture


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


transitive verb
fractured; fracturing\ -​chə-​riŋ, -​shriŋ How to pronounce fracture (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

More from Merriam-Webster on fracture

Nglish: Translation of fracture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fracture for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fracture


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