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[frak-shuh s] /ˈfræk ʃəs/
refractory or unruly:
a fractious animal that would not submit to the harness.
readily angered; peevish; irritable; quarrelsome:
an incorrigibly fractious young man.
Origin of fractious
1715-25; fracti(on) + -ous
Related forms
fractiously, adverb
fractiousness, noun
unfractious, adjective
unfractiously, adverb
unfractiousness, noun
Can be confused
factional, factious, fractious.
1. stubborn, difficult. 2. testy, captious, petulant, snappish, pettish, waspish, touchy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fractiousness
Historical Examples
  • Ten beds, and only one occupied, by a freckled, tousled quintessence of fractiousness in a blue wrapper.

    Pippin; A Wandering Flame Laura E. Richards
  • Bin livin' so high lately that you had to have a fight to work off your fractiousness?

  • Not once was there any indication of fractiousness on the part of Gov'ner.

    The Long Dim Trail Forrestine C. Hooker
  • Perhaps this sort of fractiousness is the usual sign of approaching illness with children.

    Letters of Two Brides Honore de Balzac
  • To some extent her fractiousness was due to natural reaction after the emotional excitement of the previous evening.

    The Lamp of Fate Margaret Pedler
  • "Why, I depended on seeing Mr. Oldfield," said he, with the fractiousness of a man recently ill.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • Even the most valuable and expensive pet may become a vexation if it is continually showing ill-temper and fractiousness.

    Memoirs of a Midget Walter de la Mare
  • He feared the antagonism of the officers might be aroused, in which event we should be made to suffer for our fractiousness.

British Dictionary definitions for fractiousness


Derived Forms
fractiously, adverb
fractiousness, noun
Usage note
Fractious is sometimes wrongly used where factious is meant: this factious (not fractious) dispute has split the party still further
Word Origin
C18: from (obsolete) fraction discord + -ous
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fractiousness



1725, from fraction in an obsolete sense of "a brawling, discord" (c.1500) + -ous; probably on model of captious. Related: Fractiously; fractiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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