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

Origin of fractious

First recorded in 1715–25; fracti(on) + -ous
Related formsfrac·tious·ly, adverbfrac·tious·ness, nounun·frac·tious, adjectiveun·frac·tious·ly, adverbun·frac·tious·ness, noun
Can be confusedfactional factious fractious

Synonyms for fractious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fractiousness

Historical Examples of fractiousness

  • Not once was there any indication of fractiousness on the part of Gov'ner.

    The Long Dim Trail

    Forrestine C. Hooker

  • Bin livin' so high lately that you had to have a fight to work off your fractiousness?

  • To some extent her fractiousness was due to natural reaction after the emotional excitement of the previous evening.

    The Lamp of Fate

    Margaret Pedler

  • Ten beds, and only one occupied, by a freckled, tousled quintessence of fractiousness in a blue wrapper.

    Pippin; A Wandering Flame

    Laura E. Richards

  • Perhaps this sort of fractiousness is the usual sign of approaching illness with children.

    Letters of Two Brides

    Honore de Balzac

British Dictionary definitions for fractiousness



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 fractiousness



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