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

  • n. A small part broken off or detached.
  • n. An incomplete or isolated portion; a bit: overheard fragments of their conversation; extant fragments of an old manuscript.
  • n. Grammar A sentence fragment.
  • transitive v. To break or separate (something) into fragments.
  • intransitive v. To become broken into fragments: After the election, the coalition fragmented.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A part broken off; a small, detached portion; an imperfect part; as, a fragment of an ancient writing.
  • n. A sentence not containing a subject or a predicate.
  • v. To break apart.
  • v. To cause to be broken into pieces.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A part broken off; a small, detached portion; an imperfect part.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To break up into pieces: said of a cell-nucleus or nucleolus that breaks up amitotically into two or more pieces of unequal size.
  • n. A part broken off or otherwise separated from a whole; a small detached portion; hence, a part of an unfinished whole, or of an uncompleted design: as, the fragments of a broken vase, of Anacreon's poems; this building is but a fragment of the original plan.
  • n. A rationalistic work on the Bible, by Reimarus, a German critic of the eighteenth century. Synonyms Bit, scrap, chip, remnant.

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

  • n. an incomplete piece
  • n. a broken piece of a brittle artifact
  • n. a piece broken off or cut off of something else
  • v. break or cause to break into pieces


Middle English, from Latin fragmentum, from frangere, frag-, to break; see bhreg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French, from Latin fragmentum ("a fragment, remnant"), from frangere, present active infinitive of frangō ("I break"). See also fraction. (Wiktionary)



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