sentence fragment


Definition of sentence fragment

: a word, phrase, or clause that usually has in speech the intonation of a sentence but lacks the grammatical structure usually found in the sentences of formal and especially written composition

Examples of sentence fragment in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Roger is partial to sentence fragments; Antonia has to supply the rest. New York Times, "‘Afterlife,’ by Julia Alvarez: An Excerpt," 6 Apr. 2020 Manuscript Writer constructs an introduction, for example, by pulling sentences and sentence fragments from a set of open-access references and laying them out in what appears to be no particular order. Daniel Engber, Slate Magazine, "Humans Run Experiments, a Robot Writes the Paper," 12 Dec. 2017 Even the emoluments clause, little more than a sentence fragment, gets more notice nowadays. James W. Lucas, National Review, "The Supreme Court versus the Constitution," 8 Dec. 2017

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

1947, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for sentence fragment

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The first known use of sentence fragment was in 1947

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Cite this Entry

“Sentence fragment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for sentence fragment

sentence fragment


English Language Learners Definition of sentence fragment

grammar : a group of words that is written out as a sentence but that lacks a subject or verb

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