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

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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 Some residents clearly fear otherwise, saying resulting construction could alter, fragment and even destroy the character of their communities, lower property values and worsen problems with on-street parking. The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 May 2022 Objects in space travel up to 17,500 miles per hour, which means that a fragment as small as a tennis ball could prove catastrophic to the space station and satellites that are vital to the global economy, military infrastructure and modern life. W.j. Hennigan, Time, 19 Apr. 2022 The most important piece of evidence was a rubber glove fragment that was left at the Goldman home. Christine Pelisek,, 18 Apr. 2022 In addition to the samples of moon dust, Bonhams' Space History sale includes a fragment from Sputnik-1, which was launched to space in 1957 by the Soviet Union and became the first artificial satellite in Earth's orbit. NBC News, 12 Apr. 2022 In 1992, before the Internet came into wide use, there was no Facebook Live, no TikTok, no podcasts, no streaming movies to fragment audiences. Mark Z. Barabakcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2022 His fight near Snihurivka village, some 40 miles east of Mykolaiv, was one tiny fragment, on one battlefield, of the response to a multipronged Russian offensive against Ukraine that involves 190,000 troops and is entering its third week. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Mar. 2022 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 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.

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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

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fragment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 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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