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 Jacobs sustained a shoulder fracture as a rookie last year. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Philip Rivers’ uneven debut for Colts included questionable coaching," 14 Sep. 2020 McKinney sustained a fracture in his left foot during training camp and had surgery on Aug. 26. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Damien Harris to miss at least first 3 weeks of Patriots’ season," 8 Sep. 2020 No updates were given regarding the three players on the 10-day injury list: RHP Shawn Armstrong (left SI joint inflammation), INF Chris Davis (left knee patellar tendinitis), and OF Austin Hays (non-displaced rib fracture). Mike Haim, Star Tribune, "Iglesias' hit, throw help Orioles to 4-3 win over Blue Jays," 31 Aug. 2020 An unhealed fracture below the jaw suggests the cat’s neck was broken either at or just after the time of death—possibly to keep the head upright during mummification. Charlotte Hartley, Science | AAAS, "Watch: 3D imaging reveals the ancient lives of Egyptian animal mummies," 20 Aug. 2020 He was then taken by ambulance to a New York hospital, where doctors discovered a 3.5-inch fracture to the left side of his skull. Creg Stephenson |, al, "Joe Sewell’s big-league debut, 100 years later," 10 Sep. 2020 The meeting will include Dr. Robert Anderson, who performed the surgery to repair Samuel’s Jones fracture, along with Dr. Timothy McAdams, the team doctor, and members of the training staff. Eric Branch,, "49ers could soon have clarity on Deebo Samuel’s status for Week 1," 6 Sep. 2020 An autopsy found a three-and-a-half inch fracture on the girl’s skull and bleeding and swelling in her brain. Jeff Weiner,, "Woman released from prison in 1-year-old’s Ocoee death, as Innocence Project seeks pardon," 4 Sep. 2020 Was there a tell that the right hip dislocation, which had a fracture to the posterior wall surgically repaired last November, hasn’t fully healed? Omar Kelly,, "Kelly: Tua Tagovailoa should be Dolphins’ No. 2 QB now that hip concerns are in his past | Commentary," 2 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 The issue involves a coil spring that could corrode and fracture before falling off the vehicle, causing a potential road hazard for any vehicles following behind it, Ford said in the release. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Ford recalls include some F-150s because of fire risk," 12 Aug. 2020 The tactic caused gangs to fracture and proliferate. The Economist, "Hand-ups, not handcuffs How will Mexico’s president handle “El Mencho”, a kingpin on the rise?," 15 Aug. 2020 But Victoria's decision to throw 250,000 people out of work in Australia's second-most populous city, Melbourne, with the country's toughest lockdown threatens to fracture the fragile political truce. Rod Mcguirk, Star Tribune, "Australia leader refuses to attack political foes over virus," 7 Aug. 2020 Echoes of loss and fracture each peer into silences and gaps to uncover narratives of restoration. Drea Brown Zócalo Public Square, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Multiple Truths in the Works of the Enslaved Poet Phillis Wheatley," 24 June 2020 The hood-latch striker wires on replacement hoods installed for Safety Recall 20V-142 may not have been heat-treated properly, possibly causing them to fracture. USA TODAY, "Latest car recalls for June 11-18," 18 June 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

25 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fracture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 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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