• synonyms


  1. Printing. German black-letter text, a style of type.
  2. (usually lowercase) Also fractur.
    1. a stylized, highly decorative watercolor or watercolor-and-ink painting in the Pennsylvania-German tradition, often bearing elaborate calligraphy and standardized motifs, as birds, tulips, mermaids, and unicorns, and typically appearing on a book page, baptismal certificate or other family record, or merchant's advertisement.
    2. the elaborate calligraphy used in frakturs.
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Origin of Fraktur

1900–05, Americanism; < German < Latin frāctūra action of breaking (in reference to the curlicues that broke up the continuous line of a word). See fracture
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fraktur

Historical Examples

  • Bold and italicised text appeared in the original in fraktur.

    The Life of Johannes Brahms (Vol 1 of 2)

    Florence May

  • In the original book, all German text was printed in fraktur (Gothic) type.

British Dictionary definitions for fraktur


  1. a style of typeface, formerly used in German typesetting for many printed works
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Word Origin

German, from Latin fractūra a breaking, fracture; from the curlicues that seem to interrupt the continuous line of a word
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 fraktur


German black-lettering, 1886, from German Fraktur, from Latin fractura (see fracture (n.)); so called from its angular, "broken" letters. The style was commonly used in German printing from c.1540. Sense often transferred to Pennsylvania German arts that incorporate the lettering.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper