View synonyms for fraction


[ frak-shuhn ]


  1. Mathematics.
    1. a number usually expressed in the form a/b.
    2. a ratio of algebraic quantities similarly expressed.
  2. Chemistry. (in a volatile mixture) a component whose range of boiling point temperatures allows it to be separated from other components by fractionation.
  3. a part as distinct from the whole of anything; portion or section:

    The meeting started with a fraction of us present.

  4. a very small part or segment of anything; minute portion:

    Only a fraction of the work was completed on time.

  5. a very small amount; a little bit:

    It was only a fraction away from completion.

  6. a piece broken off; fragment or bit.
  7. the act of breaking.
  8. Ecclesiastical. (in a Eucharistic service) the breaking of the Host.

verb (used with or without object)

  1. to divide or break into fractions, sections, factions, etc.:

    Dissension threatens to fraction the powerful union.


/ ˈfrækʃən /


  1. maths
    1. a ratio of two expressions or numbers other than zero
    2. any rational number that is not an integer
  2. any part or subdivision

    a substantial fraction of the nation

  3. a small piece; fragment
  4. chem a component of a mixture separated by a fractional process, such as fractional distillation
  5. Christianity the formal breaking of the bread in Communion
  6. the act of breaking


  1. tr to divide


/ frăkshən /

  1. A number that compares part of an object or a set with the whole, especially the quotient of two whole numbers written in the form a b. The fraction 1 2 , which means 1 divided by 2, can represent such things as 10 pencils out of a box of 20, or 50 cents out of a dollar.
  2. A chemical component separated by fractionation.


  1. A mathematical expression representing the division of one whole number by another. Usually written as two numbers separated by a horizontal or diagonal line , fractions are also used to indicate a part of a whole number or a ratio between two numbers. Fractions may have a value of less than one, as with 1/2, or equal to one, as with 2/2, or more than one, as with 3/2. The top number of a fraction is the numerator and the bottom number is the denominator .

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Other Words From

  • sub·fraction noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of fraction1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English fraccioun, from Late Latin frāctiōn- (stem of frāctiō ) “a breaking (in pieces),” equivalent to Latin frāct(us) (past participle of frangere “to break, shatter”; break ) + -iōn- -ion

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Word History and Origins

Origin of fraction1

C14: from Late Latin fractiō a breaking into pieces, from Latin fractus broken, from frangere to break

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Synonym Study

See part.

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Example Sentences

As a result, Phobos appears large enough to blot out a large fraction of the sun as seen from the surface of Mars.

She and her colleagues used a model that compared fantasy players’ win fractions during the first half of a series of competitions against their win fractions over the second half.

China’s gross savings rate, as a fraction of its gross domestic product, dropped from a peak of 52 percent in 2008 to 46 percent in 2018, while India’s fell from 37 percent in 2007 to 30 percent in 2018.

From Ozy

There’s a precise way in which a matching Set triple can be thought of as an arithmetic progression, and just as with lists of whole numbers, you can ask what fraction of the cards you must lay down to be sure of finding at least one triple.

Since 77 is an odd number, we cannot reduce this fraction to have a lower power of 2 in the denominator, so 5 or 6 generations will not work.

The judges who handle arraignments at criminal court in all five boroughs have a small fraction of their usual caseloads.

Twitter mentions: 20,000, but still a tiny fraction of what was to come.

No, on the contrary, only a fraction of this country, a part which I would call the best of Italy, is against the Mafia.

It has a third of the budget and a fraction of the maritime vessels.

While it provides only a small fraction of the power used—about 1.5 percent—it does represent an important investment and symbol.

The beauty, the mystery,—this fierce sunshine or something—stir——' She hesitated for a fraction of a second.

We can thus disregard the first 16 and consider only the last two figures which constitute the fraction of a century.

"I've got one-fraction of an inch play, at any rate," said the garboard-strake, triumphantly.

Joseph had mentally spent his tiny fraction of the money a dozen times or more.

Before turning up the eleventh card he paused for the fraction of a second.


Related Words

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More About Fraction

What does fraction mean?

A fraction is any part separated or distinct from its whole, as in After the party, just a fraction of the large cake was left.

A fraction can also be a very small part of a whole, as in We only understand a fraction of how the human mind works.

In mathematics, fraction is a number that is expressed as a proportion, as 1/2 or 2/3. The number on the bottom represents the total number of parts of one unit, while the number on the top is the portion of the unit being considered. For example, in 1/2 the 2 represents two halves of one whole and the 1 represents the amount of parts being observed, in this case one.

To fraction means to divide into sections or fractions, as in Politics often fractions people into self-interested groups.

Example: That announcement is only a fraction of what’s in store tonight.

Where does fraction come from?

The first records of the term fraction come from the mid-1300s. It ultimately comes from the Latin frāctiōn– meaning “a breaking into pieces.” Fraction can be used as a verb meaning “to shatter or break into a piece.”

When organizations fall apart, you might hear that they fraction off their assets or departments. These fractions can either become their own businesses, as with a large company fractioning off departments, or can be sold to other companies, as with the materials owned by the fractioning company.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to fraction?

What are some synonyms for fraction?

What are some words that share a root or word element with fraction?

What are some words that often get used in discussing fraction?

How is fraction used in real life?

While fraction is most often used in the mathematical sense, it’s also used more loosely to refer to pieces that are of undefined size.


Try using fraction!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for fraction?

A. part
B. segment
C. piece
D. all