fraction

\ \ [14] Like fracture [15], which preserves its etymological meaning more closely, fraction comes ultimately from fractus, the past participle of Latin frangerebreak’. This verb goes back to prehistoric Indo-European *bhr(e)g-, which also produced English break.
\ \ The Latin derived noun fractiō simply meant ‘breaking’, particularly with reference to the breaking of Communion bread, but all trace of this literal sense has now virtually died out in English, leaving only the mathematical sense ‘number produced by division’ and its metaphorical offshoots. Amongst the English meanings that have disappeared is ‘discord, quarrelling’, but before it went it produced fractious [18].
\ \ Cf.FRACTURE, FRAGILE, FRAIL

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • fraction — [ fraksjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1187; « rupture » v. 1400; bas lat. fractio, de frangere « briser » I ♦ Liturg. La fraction du pain : action de rompre le pain eucharistique avant de communier. II ♦ 1 ♦ (1538) Math. Nombre rationnel, élément de l ensemble Q …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Fraction — Frac tion, n. [F. fraction, L. fractio a breaking, fr. frangere, fractum, to break. See {Break}.] 1. The act of breaking, or state of being broken, especially by violence. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Neither can the natural body of Christ be subject to …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fraction — Fraction. subst. fem. Action par laquelle on rompt. En ce sens il n a d usage qu en certaines phrases consacrées. Les Pelerins d Emaüs connurent nostre Seigneur à la fraction du pain. le corps de Jesus Christ n est point rompu par la fraction de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • fraction — frac‧tion [ˈfrækʆn] noun [countable] a very small amount of something: • Generic versions of the drug sell for a fraction of the branded price. * * * fraction UK US /ˈfrækʃən/ noun [C, usually singular] ► a small part or amount of something:… …   Financial and business terms

  • fraction — in general use means ‘a very small part’: • Teaching loads at white schools often are only a fraction the size of those at black schools Saturday Review, AmE 1971. This use is idiomatic despite the pedantic objection occasionally heard that a… …   Modern English usage

  • Fraction — Frac tion, v. t. (Chem.) To separate by means of, or to subject to, fractional distillation or crystallization; to fractionate; frequently used with out; as, to fraction out a certain grade of oil from pretroleum. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fraction — [n1] part bite, chunk, cut, division, end, fragment, half, piece, portion, section, share, slice; concept 835 Ant. entirety, total, whole fraction [n2] incomplete number bit, division, fragment, part, partial, piece, portion, quotient, ratio,… …   New thesaurus

  • Fraction — (v. lat.), 1) Bruch; 2) das Brechen; 3) in den parlamentarischen Parteien die kleineren Unterabtheilungen od. Gruppen, welche in einzelnen Principienfragen von der Hauptpartei abweichen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Fraction — Fraction, lat. fractio, Brechung, Bruch; Partei. Fractur, Knochenbruch; in der Buchdruckerei die eckige deutsche Schrift; in der Kalligraphie die Kanzleischrift, die nachgeahmte deutsche Druckschrift …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • fraction — index constituent (part), element, installment, member (constituent part), modicum, moiety, part …   Law dictionary

  • fraction — late 14c., originally in the mathematical sense, from Anglo Fr. fraccioun (O.Fr. fraccion, 12c., breaking ) and directly from L.L. fractionem (nom. fractio) a breaking, especially into pieces, noun of action from pp. stem of L. frangere to break …   Etymology dictionary

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