frag·​men·​tary | \ ˈfrag-mən-ˌter-ē How to pronounce fragmentary (audio) \

Definition of fragmentary

: consisting of fragments : incomplete fragmentary evidence a fragmentary account

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Other Words from fragmentary

fragmentarily \ ˌfrag-​mən-​ˈter-​ə-​lē How to pronounce fragmentarily (audio) \ adverb
fragmentariness \ ˈfrag-​mən-​ˌter-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce fragmentariness (audio) \ noun

Examples of fragmentary in a Sentence

discovering fragmentary remains of primitive animals the historical record of this pharaoh's life and reign is fragmentary at best

Recent Examples on the Web

Shooting on 16-millimeter and 8-millimeter film, Allah has made a fleeting, fragmentary poetic collage that is also strangely complete. Kenneth Turan,, "Our film critics pick the best movies of 2019 (so far)," 5 July 2019 Most of what’s known about the supercontinent comes from fragmentary pieces of its orogens: the edges of individual continental plates that crunched up, forming mountains, during massive collisions. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Plate Tectonics: The Slow Dance of Our Planet's Crust," 12 June 2019 Further Reading Xbox Game Pass is coming to Windows 10, but many questions remain Ubisoft's move continues the fragmentary subscription battle playing out across the game industry. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "UPlay+ subscription lets you play every Ubisoft game on PC and Stadia," 10 June 2019 The findings shed light on the local folklore and fragmentary scholarship surrounding the Carricks shipwreck, Côté said. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "A storm exposed children’s bones on a Canadian beach, reviving a 170-year-old mystery," 13 June 2019 The study documents some fragmentary marine fossils, including the teeth of ancient sharks, aquatic reptiles called mosasaurs, and an extinct type of mollusk called an ammonite. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "These fossils may capture the day the dinosaurs died. Here's what you should know.," 31 Mar. 2019 Hard to know; records are fragmentary and conflated with myth. William Meyers, WSJ, "‘Dawoud Bey: Night Coming Tenderly, Black’ Review: Out of Darkness," 14 Jan. 2019 That’s in part because there are two types of blackouts: fragmentary and en bloc. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Blackout drinking, explained for Brett Kavanaugh," 3 Oct. 2018 Because of the fragmentary nature of many of the bones, the team exploring the cave has been slowly going through them, determining which ones are human by looking at the collagen that comprises much of the bone. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "DNA shows girl had one Neanderthal, one Denisovan parent," 22 Aug. 2018

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

1611, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fragmentary

fragment entry 1 + -ary entry 2

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Statistics for fragmentary

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fragmentary

The first known use of fragmentary was in 1611

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More Definitions for fragmentary



English Language Learners Definition of fragmentary

: made up of parts or pieces : made up of fragments

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More from Merriam-Webster on fragmentary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fragmentary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fragmentary

Spanish Central: Translation of fragmentary

Nglish: Translation of fragmentary for Spanish Speakers

Comments on fragmentary

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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