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[frak-shuh-nl] /ˈfræk ʃə nl/
pertaining to fractions; comprising a part or the parts of a unit; constituting a fraction:
fractional numbers.
comparatively small; inconsiderable or insignificant:
The profit on the deal was fractional.
Chemistry. of or noting a process, as distillation, crystallization, or oxidation, by which the component substances of a mixture are separated according to differences in certain of their properties, as boiling point, critical temperature, or solubility.
Also, fractionary
[frak-shuh-ner-ee] /ˈfræk ʃəˌnɛr i/ (Show IPA)
Origin of fractional
First recorded in 1665-75; fraction + -al1
Related forms
fractionally, adverb
subfractional, adjective
subfractionally, adverb
subfractionary, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fractional
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A fractional second of hesitation could not be permitted him.

    The Forest Stewart Edward White
  • For one fractional part of a second the stars and skies were blotted out.

    Invasion William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • Small quantities are made by using a fractional part of this recipe.

    Checking the Waste Mary Huston Gregory
  • The resulting alcohol is separated by fractional distillation.

  • It is possible that they do get a second as it were fractional life in us.

    The Guardian Angel Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • No order is allowed to contain a fractional part of a penny.

    Her Majesty's Mails

    William Lewins
  • No interest to be allowed on any fractional part of a pound.

  • When the people cannot get up a whole holiday, they will have a fractional one.

    Spanish Vistas George Parsons Lathrop
  • I do not like a fractional life, one which seizes some parts and discards others.

    Dawn Mrs. Harriet A. Adams
British Dictionary definitions for fractional


relating to, containing, or constituting one or more fractions
of or denoting a process in which components of a mixture are separated by exploiting differences in their physical properties, such as boiling points, solubility, etc: fractional distillation, fractional crystallization
very small or insignificant
broken up; fragmented
Derived Forms
fractionally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fractional

1670s, from fraction + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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