[ frag-muhn-tey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for fragmentation on
  1. the act or process of fragmenting; state of being fragmented.

  2. the disintegration, collapse, or breakdown of norms of thought, behavior, or social relationship.

  1. the pieces of an exploded fragmentation bomb or grenade.

  2. Computers. the process or result of storing data from a file in noncontiguous sectors on a disk drive. As files are created, modified, deleted, etc., the files are split into smaller pieces and the remaining free space on the disk is broken up, slowing down data access speed on the disk.

Origin of fragmentation

First recorded in 1880–85; fragment + -ation

Words Nearby fragmentation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use fragmentation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fragmentation


/ (ˌfræɡmɛnˈteɪʃən) /

  1. the act of fragmenting or the state of being fragmented

  2. the disintegration of norms regulating behaviour, thought, and social relationships

  1. the steel particles of an exploded projectile

  2. (modifier) of or relating to a weapon designed to explode into many small pieces, esp as an antipersonnel weapon: a fragmentation bomb

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

Scientific definitions for fragmentation


[ frăg′mən-tāshən ]

  1. The scattering of parts of a computer file across different regions of a disk. Fragmentation occurs when the operating system breaks up the file and stores it in locations left vacant by previously deleted files. The more fragmented the file, the slower it is to retrieve, since each piece of the file must be identified and located on the disk.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.