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

  • n. The act or process of breaking into fragments.
  • n. The scattering of the fragments of an exploding bomb or other projectile.
  • n. Computer Science The scattering of parts of a file throughout a disk, as when the operating system breaks up the file and fits it into the spaces left vacant by previously deleted files.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of fragmenting or something fragmented; disintegration.
  • n. The process by which fragments of an exploding bomb scatter.
  • n. The breaking up and dispersal of a file into non-contiguous areas of a disk.
  • n. The breaking up of a data packet when larger than the transmission unit of a network.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. the act or process of separating something into small pieces or fine particles.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A breaking up into parts or fragments; specifically, in zoology, a breaking up into parts or joints with become new individuals, as in some Schizomycetes: a form of fission.

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

  • n. (computer science) the condition of a file that is broken up and stored in many different locations on a magnetic disk
  • n. the scattering of bomb fragments after the bomb explodes
  • n. separating something into fine particles
  • n. the disintegration of social norms governing behavior and thought and social relationships


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The use of the term fragmentation to describe Google's Android operating system has no merit because people can't agree what the term means, according to an Android developer.

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  • This seems to me, however, a consequence of the fact that Aue's "narrative consciousness" inherently veersfrom "confessional" to "argumentative," etc., not that this fragmentation is a flaw in the use of point of view.

    Point of View in Fiction

  • Here is what the BBC's Middle East Editor has to say about what he calls the fragmentation of Palestinian society:

    Israel-Palestinian conflict

  • That's what they call a fragmentation issue, where you fragment the natural landscape to where the needs of species are unable to be met, because they cannot move or they cannot behave in natural patterns and behaviors.

    Oral History Interview with Taylor Barnhill, November 29, 2000. Interview K-0245. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)

  • So these trends are accelerating very quickly, and definitely what we're seeing is what I call a fragmentation of male identity.

    The End Of The Macho Man?

  • Mr. Jobs cited the example of TweetDeck, a program used by people to access Twitter, to argue that Android fragmentation is a problem for app developers.

    Tech Rivals Wage War of Words

  • "We inherited the fragmentation from the previous administration."

    Liberal Dems 'stand in strong opposition' to Sebelius statement

  • Description: Forest fragmentation is threatening populations of the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) by separating sub-populations and restricting them to small fragments with high population densities.

    Biodiversity 100: actions for Asia

  • Parts of the cells may break off and separate from the portion of the cell containing the nucleus—this is called fragmentation.


  • One of the problems with fragmentation is that you lose core habitat.

    A Promise


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  • This word fragmentation when used in the context of Android phones apparently has to do with the OS platform. The consistency of which is or is not maintained across hardware upgrades. Charlie Kindel had this to say in a recent blog: "The fact that Windows Phone has, thus far, avoided fragmentation (almost every WP7 device from every manufacture r & carrier automatically got updated to WP7.5 “Mango” this fall) "

    January 1, 2012