[ frag-men-tl ]
/ frægˈmɛn tl /
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Origin of fragmental

First recorded in 1790–1800; fragment + -al1


frag·men·tal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does fragmental mean?

The adjective fragmental means consisting of or reduced to fragments—pieces that have been broken off of or detached from something else.

The adjective fragmentary is more commonly used to mean the same thing.

The fossilized remains of a dinosaur might be described as fragmental if they exist in many different pieces, and perhaps some of the pieces are missing.

The word fragment is also used to refer to a part or portion of something that is incomplete or isolated from the whole, such as a fragment of a movie or piece of music. Sometimes, fragmental is used to describe things as disjointed, disconnected, or incomplete. This sense of the word is most commonly used to describe intangible or abstract things, as in fragmental evidence or a fragmental proposal.  

The adjective fragmented describes things that have been broken into fragments or things that are or have been disorganized or disunified in some way, such as an empire that was once unified but is now fragmented.

The word fragmental is used in a more specific way in the context of geology to describe rocks or mineral deposits made up of fragments of other rocks and minerals.

Example: Scholars have been able to piece together the text from the fragmental remains of the ancient parchment.

Where does fragmental come from?

The first records of the word fragmental come from the 1700s. It ultimately comes from the Latin fragmentum, meaning “a broken piece,” from the verb frangere, meaning “to break.” The word fragile also comes from frangere. The suffix -al is used for form adjectives.

The more literal senses of fragmental and fragmented are similar, but fragmented is perhaps more likely to be used to describe the things that have broken off of something else, as in a fragmented bit of a broken bone or the fragmented pieces of a broken vase. Fragmental and fragmentary, on the other hand, are more likely to be applied to the thing that was once whole, as opposed to the parts of it, as in fragmental remains. Still, the words are sometimes used in overlapping ways, with fragmental being used as a less common synonym of fragmentary and fragmentized being used as a less common synonym of fragmented.

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What are some other forms related to fragmental?

What are some synonyms for fragmental?

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

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

How is fragmental used in real life?

Fragmental can be used to describe physical objects that have been reduced to fragments or intangible things that are disjointed in some way. Fragmentary is more commonly used to mean the same thing.



Try using fragmental!

Which of the following words is a synonym of fragmental?

A. fragment
B. fragmentary
C. fragmentize
D. all of the above

How to use fragmental in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fragmental

/ (fræɡˈmɛntəl) /

(of rocks or deposits) composed of fragments of pre-existing rocks and minerals
another word for fragmentary

Derived forms of fragmental

fragmentally, adverb
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