fragment

noun
frag·​ment | \ ˈfrag-mənt \

Definition of fragment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a part broken off, detached, or incomplete The dish lay in fragments on the floor.

fragment

verb
frag·​ment | \ ˈfrag-ˌment \
fragmented; fragmenting; fragments

Definition of fragment (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to fall to pieces

transitive verb

: to break up or apart into fragments

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for fragment

Synonyms: Noun

bit, fraction, piece, scrap

Synonyms: Verb

break, break up, bust, disintegrate, dismember, disrupt, fracture, rive

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for fragment

Noun

part, portion, piece, member, division, section, segment, fragment mean something less than the whole. part is a general term appropriate when indefiniteness is required. they ran only part of the way portion implies an assigned or allotted part. cut the pie into six portions piece applies to a separate or detached part of a whole. a puzzle with 500 pieces member suggests one of the functional units composing a body. a structural member division applies to a large or diversified part. the manufacturing division of the company section applies to a relatively small or uniform part. the entertainment section of the newspaper segment applies to a part separated or marked out by or as if by natural lines of cleavage. the retired segment of the population fragment applies to a part produced by or as if by breaking off. only a fragment of the play still exists

Examples of fragment in a Sentence

Noun

The dish lay in fragments on the floor. I could only hear fragments of their conversation.

Verb

The party is fragmenting into warring factions. These issues are fragmenting our society. The property is being fragmented into subdivisions.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Enter Steven Benner’s latest theory of early earth’s wet–dry cycle, indicated by the presence of ancient mineral fragments called zircons. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Life on Earth May Have Been Born From a Maelstrom of Molten Iron," 15 Jan. 2019 Neanderthals lived in Europe and Asia, while fossils of Denisovans are known only from the cave where the fragment was found. Fox News, "Mom was Neanderthal: Fossil shows mix of humankind's cousins," 22 Aug. 2018 Three months later, then-U.S. President Richard Nixon directed that fragments of that goodwill moon rock be distributed to 135 nations and the 50 U.S. states. Robert Z. Pearlman, Space.com, "Apollo Moon Rock Rediscovered in Cambodia Debuts on Display," 20 June 2018 When fragments of China’s famed terracotta warriors were discovered by farmers in 1974, Zhao Kangmin was one of the first archaeologists on the scene. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Zhao Kangmin, the Archaeologist Who Pieced Together China’s Terracotta Warriors," 24 May 2018 Others bones are deliberately arranged in bundles with stones brought in from other areas, and in one case, fragments of hip bones from four different individuals were threaded on a tree branch. National Geographic, "Thousands of Human Bones Reveal 'Barbarian' Battle Rituals," 21 May 2018 Those samples became the core of a small collection that proved that fragments of the region had, indeed, been pushed to extraordinary pressures, surviving a round-trip circuit to depths greater than 150 miles. Longreads, "The Quest for the Collision Zone: An Arctic Expedition," 12 Mar. 2018 Even with its partial collapse, the volcano is still active and smaller eruptions known as Strombolian eruptions, which can rain down lava fragments, are a threat. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Devastating Tsunami Threatens Endangered Rhinos," 28 Dec. 2018 When the planets first formed 4.5 billion years ago, the materials in the Kuiper Belt region didn’t join together to form new worlds but instead remained as tiny fragments. Loren Grush, The Verge, "On New Year’s Day, a spacecraft will zoom by the most distant object humanity has ever visited," 27 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This power vacuum will also attract even more candidates, fragmenting Brazilian politics further and making October’s race one of the most unpredictable in the nation’s short democracy. Samantha Pearson And Luciana Magalhaes, WSJ, "Brazilian Judge Orders Ex-President to Start Jail term," 5 Apr. 2018 Civilian owners of military-style weapons can also buy soft-nosed or hollow-point ammunition, often used for hunting, that lacks a full metal jacket and can expand and fragment on impact. New York Times, "Wounds From Military-Style Rifles? ‘A Ghastly Thing to See’," 4 Mar. 2018 When asked by the Guardian about why people weren’t getting vaccinated, experts in England spoke mainly of an increasingly strapped and fragmented National Health Service, the country’s public health system. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Measles cases have hit a record high in Europe. Blame austerity.," 24 Sep. 2018 The permit and inspection regimes are fragmented, explains Baca. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Why solar is likely to power the Home of the Future," 13 Aug. 2018 This sudden shift in demand from China has fragmented the iron-ore market, with prices climbing for certain kinds of ore with higher iron content. Rhiannon Hoyle, WSJ, "China’s Cleanup Efforts Create Boom for South African Miner," 4 Aug. 2018 Historically, the home-building industry was fragmented, made up of small building companies producing homes in volumes that matched local demand. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "10 years after the financial crisis, is the housing market still at risk?," 29 Aug. 2018 PEPTIDES Tiny protein fragments that promote collagen growth and help repair skin. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 Most bombs use a steel casing that fragments into deadly shrapnel, but this would be unnecessary (and dangerous) when fighting fires. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Should the U.S. Air Force Bomb Forest Fires?," 8 Aug. 2018

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1818, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for fragment

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Latin fragmentum, from frag-, variant stem of frangere "to break, shatter" + -mentum -ment — more at break entry 1

Verb

derivative of fragment entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fragment

Statistics for fragment

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fragment

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fragment

fragment

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fragment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a broken part or piece of something
: an incomplete part

fragment

verb

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

: to break or to cause (something) to break into parts or pieces

fragment

noun
frag·​ment | \ ˈfrag-mənt \

Kids Definition of fragment

: a broken or incomplete part a fragment of rock a fragment of music

fragment

noun
frag·​ment | \ ˈfrag-mənt \

Medical Definition of fragment

: a part broken off or detached

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fragment

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fragment

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fragment

Spanish Central: Translation of fragment

Nglish: Translation of fragment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fragment for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fragment

What made you want to look up fragment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!