frag·​ment | \ ˈfrag-mənt How to pronounce fragment (audio) \

Definition of fragment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


frag·​ment | \ ˈfrag-ˌment How to pronounce fragment (audio) \
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

Synonyms for fragment

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for fragment


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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But one design element in particular really puts it over the top: a fragment of ABT’s first winner’s trophy, secured by the founder’s grandson on a grass racetrack in Kempten, Germany, more than 60 years ago. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 5 May 2022 Numbers are decreasing, according to the IUCN, which lists the species as near-threatened, and destruction of key habitat is causing populations to fragment, which could lead to extinction across the region. Nell Lewis; Video By Hazel Pfeifer, CNN, 25 Apr. 2022 Restoring bone mass currently requires an injection of medication containing a peptide fragment of human parathyroid hormone (PTH) used to stimulate bone formation, reports Ellen Phiddian for Cosmos. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Mar. 2022 Planarians self-fragment just once a month, and the process is over within minutes. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 8 Oct. 2021 The fragment was traced to a Brooklyn clinic where Defeis had been a patient — the only place in the country that used the gloves, which were made in Canada. Christine Pelisek,, 18 Apr. 2022 Stuart and his colleagues aren’t sure, because there are only two other glyphs on the plaster fragment. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 15 Apr. 2022 The firearms technician matched the fragment to the other casings recovered at the scene. Alex Mann, Baltimore Sun, 29 Mar. 2022 The fragment of her novel really only took us halfway through episode one in the first season. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, 21 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb First the peptides would have to endure the perils of their journey through the universe, from radiation to water exposure inside asteroids, both of which can fragment the molecules. Quanta Magazine, 8 Mar. 2022 Approximately one pound of the projectile is an explosive charge, the rest is a metal casing designed to fragment and send shrapnel flying. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 15 Mar. 2022 As the birth draws closer the grieving family continues to fragment. Leo Barraclough, Variety, 8 Feb. 2022 As media continues to fragment, developing a successful strategy is becoming a more challenging task with each passing year. Brad Adgate, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 After the scientific community finally convinces the US president (Streep) to launch a mission to fragment the comet in space, BASH Cellular CEO Peter Isherwell (played by Mark Rylance) swoops in and takes over. Adario Strange, Quartz, 4 Jan. 2022 Scientists say encroaching development threatens to fragment pasturelands and cut off wildlife corridors with roads and suburbs, diverted stream flows, and weekend crowds. Los Angeles Times, 24 Dec. 2021 This smaller increment of new hydropower would fragment 260,000 kilometers of currently free-flowing rivers. Jeff Opperman, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation . . ., 2 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of fragment


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1818, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for fragment


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


derivative of fragment entry 1

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Time Traveler for fragment

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near fragment

fragile X syndrome



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Statistics for fragment

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fragment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for fragment


frag·​ment | \ ˈfrag-mənt How to pronounce fragment (audio) \

Kids Definition of fragment

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


frag·​ment | \ ˈfrag-mənt How to pronounce fragment (audio) \

Medical Definition of fragment

: a part broken off or detached

More from Merriam-Webster on fragment

Nglish: Translation of fragment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fragment for Arabic Speakers


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