[ frak-shuhs ]
/ ˈfræk ʃəs /


refractory or unruly: a fractious animal that would not submit to the harness.
readily angered; peevish; irritable; quarrelsome: an incorrigibly fractious young man.

Nearby words

  1. fractionate,
  2. fractionating column,
  3. fractionation,
  4. fractionator,
  5. fractionize,
  6. fractiously,
  7. fractocumulus,
  8. fractostratus,
  9. fractur,
  10. fracture

Origin of fractious

First recorded in 1715–25; fracti(on) + -ous

Related forms
Can be confusedfactional factious fractious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fractious

British Dictionary definitions for fractious


/ (ˈfrækʃəs) /


Derived Formsfractiously, adverbfractiousness, noun

Word Origin for fractious

C18: from (obsolete) fraction discord + -ous


Fractious is sometimes wrongly used where factious is meant: this factious (not fractious) dispute has split the party still further

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 fractious



1725, from fraction in an obsolete sense of "a brawling, discord" (c.1500) + -ous; probably on model of captious. Related: Fractiously; fractiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper