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

  • n. The act or process of breaking.
  • n. The condition of having been broken or ruptured: "a sudden and irreparable fracture of the established order” ( W. Bruce Lincoln).
  • n. A break, rupture, or crack, especially in bone or cartilage.
  • n. Mineralogy The characteristic manner in which a mineral breaks.
  • n. Mineralogy The characteristic appearance of the surface of a broken mineral.
  • n. Geology A crack or fault in a rock.
  • transitive v. To cause to break: The impact fractured a bone.
  • transitive v. To undergo a break in (a bone): He fractured his ankle in the fall.
  • transitive v. To disrupt or destroy as if by breaking: fractured the delicate balance of power.
  • transitive v. To abuse or misuse flagrantly, as by violating rules: ignorant writers who fracture the language.
  • transitive v. Slang To cause to laugh heartily: "Jack Benny fractured audiences . . . for more than 50 years” ( Newsweek).
  • intransitive v. To undergo a fracture. See Synonyms at break.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the act of breaking, or something that has broken, especially that in bone or cartilage
  • n. a fault or crack in a rock
  • v. to break, or cause something to break

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of breaking or snapping asunder; rupture; breach.
  • n. The breaking of a bone.
  • n. The texture of a freshly broken surface
  • transitive v. To cause a fracture or fractures in; to break; to burst asunder; to crack; to separate the continuous parts of

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To break; cause a fracture in; crack: as, to fracture a bone or the skull.
  • Synonyms Cleave, Split, etc. See rend, and fracture, n.
  • To break; undergo fracture.
  • n. A breaking or a break; especially, a partial or total separation of parts of a continuous solid body under the action of a force; specifically, in surgery, the breaking of a bone.
  • n. A broken surface, with reference to texture or configuration, or to manner of breaking; specifically, in mineralogy, the characteristic breakage of a substance, or appearance presented on a surface other than that of cleavage: as, a compact fracture; a fibrous fracture; foliated, striated, or conchoidal fracture, etc.
  • n. Forcible separation or disunion; quarreling.
  • n. In phonology, same as breaking, 2.

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

  • v. break into pieces
  • n. breaking of hard tissue such as bone
  • v. become fractured
  • v. fracture a bone of
  • v. violate or abuse
  • n. the act of cracking something
  • v. interrupt, break, or destroy
  • v. break (a bone)
  • n. (geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other


Middle English, from Old French, from Latin frāctūra, from frāctus, past participle of frangere, to break; see bhreg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French, from Latin fractura ("a breach, fracture, cleft"), from frangere ("to break"), past participle fractus, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰrag-, from whence also English break. See fraction. (Wiktionary)



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