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fractional

[frak-shuh-nl]
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adjective
  1. pertaining to fractions; comprising a part or the parts of a unit; constituting a fraction: fractional numbers.
  2. comparatively small; inconsiderable or insignificant: The profit on the deal was fractional.
  3. 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.
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Also frac·tion·ar·y [frak-shuh-ner-ee] /ˈfræk ʃəˌnɛr i/.

Origin of fractional

First recorded in 1665–75; fraction + -al1
Related formsfrac·tion·al·ly, adverbsub·frac·tion·al, adjectivesub·frac·tion·al·ly, adverbsub·frac·tion·ar·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.


British Dictionary definitions for fractional

fractional

fractionary (ˈfrækʃənərI)

adjective
  1. relating to, containing, or constituting one or more fractions
  2. 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, etcfractional distillation; fractional crystallization
  3. very small or insignificant
  4. broken up; fragmented
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Derived Formsfractionally, 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

Word Origin and History for fractional

adj.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper