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[noun frag-muh nt; verb frag-muh nt, -ment, frag-ment] /noun ˈfræg mənt; verb ˈfræg mənt, -mɛnt, frægˈmɛnt/
a part broken off or detached:
scattered fragments of the broken vase.
an isolated, unfinished, or incomplete part:
She played a fragment of her latest composition.
an odd piece, bit, or scrap.
verb (used without object)
to collapse or break into fragments; disintegrate:
The chair fragmented under his weight.
verb (used with object)
to break (something) into pieces or fragments; cause to disintegrate:
Outside influences soon fragmented the Mayan culture.
to divide into fragments; disunify.
Computers. to split a file into smaller parts and store in non-contiguous sectors on a disk, resulting in fragmentation of both the file and available free space on the disk.
Compare fragmentation (def 4).
Origin of fragment
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin fragmentum a broken piece, remnant, equivalent to frag- (stem of frangere to break) + -mentum -ment
1–3. See part. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fragment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Epos, p. 65, places the fragment in the Finn episode, between ll.

    Beowulf Unknown
  • The stone-breaker, who had not broken a fragment since we began to converse, then did as follows.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • It was as if men had been able to preserve a fragment of a sunset.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • I beg your pardon, my dear "Clarinda," for the fragment scrawl I sent you yesterday.

  • "I'm sorry you think——" he began, but did not complete the fragment.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
British Dictionary definitions for fragment


noun (ˈfræɡmənt)
a piece broken off or detached: fragments of rock
an incomplete piece; portion: fragments of a novel
a scrap; morsel; bit
verb (fræɡˈmɛnt)
to break or cause to break into fragments
Word Origin
C15: from Latin fragmentum, from frangere to break
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 fragment

early 15c., from Latin fragmentum "a fragment, remnant," literally "a piece broken off," from root of frangere "to break" (see fraction).


by 1788 (implied in fragmented), from fragment (n.). Related: Fragmenting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fragment in Medicine

fragment frag·ment (frāg'mənt)

  1. A small part broken off or detached.

  2. An incomplete or isolated portion; a bit.

v. frag·ment·ed, frag·ment·ing, frag·ments (frāg'měnt')
To break or separate into fragments.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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