Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Consisting of small, disconnected parts: a picture that emerges from fragmentary information.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Consisting of fragments; disconnected; scattered.
  • adj. Composed of the fragments of other rocks.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Composed of fragments, or broken pieces; disconnected; not complete or entire.
  • adj. Composed of the fragments of other rocks.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Composed of fragments or broken pieces; broken up; hence, not complete or entire; disconnected; disjointed.
  • Specifically, in geology, made up of fragments of other rocks: said of rocks such as tufas, agglomerates, conglomerates, and breccias.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. consisting of small disconnected parts

Etymologies

fragment +‎ -ary (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It is a fairly short novel, told in fragmentary, disjointed style (150 chapters in 135 pages) about the narrator's investigation of the disappearance of the head waiter of his favourite Indian restaurant.

    December Books 8) Mr Singh Has Disappeared: A Concussed Novel, by Horst Prillinger

  • Saint-Just went so far as to sketch out in fragmentary form a spartan utopia in which "Celui qui dit qu'il ne croit pas à l'amitié est banni" ( "He who says that he does not believe in friendship is banished"), proposing that

    Annotations

  • In Thomas McFarland's Romanticism and the Forms of Ruin, the fragmentary is instead elevated to a cultural theme.

    Notes on 'The Ruins of Empire: Nationalism, Art, and Empire in Hemans's Modern Greece'

  • The answers are out there, encoded in fragmentary clues, the scientists said.

    Graham, Dennis L.

  • While thus speaking, he continued to move along the littered floor of the dingy room, with the undulating restlessness of some wild animal in the confines of its den, and he now went on, in short fragmentary sentences, very slightly linked together, but smoothed, as it were, into harmony by a voice musical and fresh as a sky lark's warble.

    A Strange Story — Volume 02

  • The Multi-National Force Iraq command issued the update, called a fragmentary orderlast month.

    U.S. Tightens Rules

  • I tried to recall the fragmentary knowledge of astronomy I had gained in my irregular reading, but it was all too vague to furnish any idea of the things we might expect.

    First Men in the Moon

  • Of this plan he completed two detached parts, namely the fragmentary 'Recluse' and 'The

    A History of English Literature

  • Perhaps it may be properly termed fragmentary thoughts and jottings concerning the life of an extraordinary human force, written at intervals when I had leisure from an otherwise busy life.

    Drake Nelson and Napoleon

  • I should not term his fragmentary system 'deistic.'

    Beulah

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "The memory of Albertine had become so fragmentary that it no longer caused me any sadness and was no more now than a transition to fresh desires, like a chord which announces a change of key."

    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 809 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 20, 2010

  • "The persistence within me of an old impulse to work, to make up for lost time, to change my way of life, or rather to begin to live, gave me the illusion that I was still as young as in the past; and yet the memory of all the events that had succeeded one another in my life (and also of those that had succeeded one another in my heart, for when one has greatly changed, one is misled into supposing that one has lived longer) in the course of those last months of Albertine's existence, had made them seem to me much longer than a year, and now this forgetfulness of so many things, separating me by gulfs of space from quite recent events which they made me think remote, because I had had what is called "the time" to forget them, by its fragmentary, irregular interpolation in my memory—like a thick fog at sea which obliterates all the landmarks—distorted, dislocated my sense of distance in time, contracted in one place, distended in another, and made me suppose myself now further away from things, now much closer to them, than I really was."

    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, pp 802-803 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 20, 2010

  • "We have of the universe only inchoate, fragmentary visions, which we complement by arbitrary associations of ideas, creative of dangerous illusions."
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 775 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 20, 2010

  • "The truth is that this woman has only raised to life by a sort of magic countless elements of tenderness existing in us already in a fragmentary state, which she has assembled, joined together, effacing every gap between them, and it is we ourselves who by giving her her features have supplied all the solid matter of the beloved object."

    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 679 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 15, 2010

  • "She chose pieces which were either quite new or which she had played to me only once or twice, for, beginning to know me better, she was aware that I liked to fix my thoughts only upon what was still obscure to me, and to be able, in the course of these successive renderings, thanks to the increasing but, alas, distorting and alien light of my intellect, to link to one another the fragmentary and interrupted lines of the structure which at first had been almost hidden in mist."


    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 501 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 10, 2010

  • "Before that hour drew near, we had a spell of chiaroscuro, because after we had driven as far as the Seine, where Albertine admired, and by her presence prevented me from admiring, the reflexions of red sails upon the wintry blue of the water, and a tiled house nestling in the distance like a single red poppy against the clear horizon of which Saint-Cloud seemed, further off still, to be the fragmentary, friable, ribbed petrifaction, we left our motor-car and walked a long way."
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 227 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    January 11, 2010

  • "The fugitive and fragmentary pleasure, compounded of mystery and sensuality, which I had felt at Balbec, on the night when she had come to sleep at the hotel, had been completed and stabilised, filling my hitherto empty dwelling with a permanent store of domestic, almost conjugal, ease that radiated even into the passages and upon which all my senses, either actively or, when I was alone, in imagination as I awaited her return, peacefully fed."
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 69 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    December 29, 2009

  • "And not only does one not grasp at once and remember works that are truly rare, but even within those works (as happened to me in the case of Vinteuil's sonata) it is the least precious parts that one at first perceives. So much so that I was mistaken not only in thinking that this work held nothing further in store for me (so that for a long time I made no effort to hear it again) from the moment Mme Swann had played me its most famous passage (I was in this respect as stupid as people are who expect to feel no astonishment when they stand in Venice bfore the façade of Saint Mark's, because photography has already acquainted them with the outline of its domes); far more than that, even when I had heard the sonata from beginning to end, it remained almost wholly invisible to me, like a monument of which distance or a haze allows us to catch but a faint and fragmentary glimpse."

    -- Within a Budding Grove by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, Revised by D.J. Enright, p 141 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    April 20, 2008