• synonyms


[noun frag-muh nt; verb frag-muh nt, -ment, frag-ment]
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  1. a part broken off or detached: scattered fragments of the broken vase.
  2. an isolated, unfinished, or incomplete part: She played a fragment of her latest composition.
  3. an odd piece, bit, or scrap.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to collapse or break into fragments; disintegrate: The chair fragmented under his weight.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to break (something) into pieces or fragments; cause to disintegrate: Outside influences soon fragmented the Mayan culture.
  2. to divide into fragments; disunify.
  3. Computers. to split a file into smaller parts and store in non-contiguous sectors on a disk, resulting in fragmentation of both the file and available free space on the disk.Compare fragmentation(def 4).
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Origin of fragment

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin fragmentum a broken piece, remnant, equivalent to frag- (stem of frangere to break) + -mentum -ment


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1–3. See part.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

disintegrate, splinter, rive, smash, divide, burst, shatter, crumble, shiver, split, disunite, rend

Examples from the Web for fragmenting

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Europe is fragmenting into micro-nations while unifying its economies.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

British Dictionary definitions for fragmenting


noun (ˈfræɡmənt)
  1. a piece broken off or detachedfragments of rock
  2. an incomplete piece; portionfragments of a novel
  3. a scrap; morsel; bit
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verb (fræɡˈmɛnt) Also US: fragmentize (ˈfræɡmənˌtaɪz)
  1. to break or cause to break into fragments
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Word Origin

C15: from Latin fragmentum, from frangere to break
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 fragmenting



early 15c., from Latin fragmentum "a fragment, remnant," literally "a piece broken off," from root of frangere "to break" (see fraction).

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by 1788 (implied in fragmented), from fragment (n.). Related: Fragmenting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fragmenting in Medicine


  1. A small part broken off or detached.
  2. An incomplete or isolated portion; a bit.
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  1. To break or separate into fragments.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.