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See more synonyms for fractious on Thesaurus.com
  1. refractory or unruly: a fractious animal that would not submit to the harness.
  2. readily angered; peevish; irritable; quarrelsome: an incorrigibly fractious young man.
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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

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for fractiousness

obstinacy, roughness, recalcitrance, refractoriness, intractability, wildness, rowdiness, unmanageability

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


  1. irritable
  2. unruly
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper