Definition of fracture in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈfrak(t)SHər/


1The cracking or breaking of a hard object or material: bone density testing can predict the risk for fracture
More example sentences
  • The authors conclude from this study that the risk of hip fracture in elderly persons can be greatly reduced by the use of a hip-protector device.
  • They are potentially suitable for use by older people at high risk of hip fracture rather than older people generally.
  • Today there is a wide range of therapeutic options and several safe and effective medical treatments to reduce the risk of fracture by up to 50 per cent.
breaking, breakage, cracking, fragmentation, splintering, rupture
1.1A crack or break in a hard object or material, typically a bone or a body of rock: a fracture of the left leg
More example sentences
  • Stress fractures are partial fractures, often hairline cracks in the bone, caused by repeated stress.
  • Direct injury to the spine may cause a bone fracture anywhere along your vertebral column.
  • Bone scanning is sensitive but not specific for detecting stress fractures, healing fractures, infections and tumors.
1.2The physical appearance of a freshly broken rock or mineral, especially as regards the shape of the surface formed.
Example sentences
  • Alteration of this mineral has produced an unusual abundance of vivianite coatings on fracture surfaces in the rock.
  • It forms attractive dendrites on fracture surfaces.
  • The mineral is brittle with a conchoidal to uneven fracture.
2 Phonetics The replacement of a simple vowel by a diphthong owing to the influence of a following sound, typically a consonant.
2.1A diphthong substituted by a fracture.


1Break or cause to break: [no object]: the stone has fractured [with object]: ancient magmas fractured by the forces of wind and ice
More example sentences
  • His characters are fractured, broken people, who find happiness too late and too unsatisfactorily, if at all.
  • Broken columns of rock fractured from the face are tumbled like a game of jackstraws below.
  • This inequality leads to fracturing within the stone and eventual disintegration.
1.1 [with object] Sustain a fracture of (a bone): (as adjective fractured) she suffered a fractured skull
More example sentences
  • The scaphoid is the most commonly fractured bone of the wrist.
  • The mammalian liver can regenerate if a part of it is removed, the antlers of male deer regenerate each year, and fractured bones can mend by a regenerative process.
  • She has never required any surgical procedures or fractured any bones.
broken, cracked, splintered, shattered, ruptured
1.2(With reference to an organization or other abstract thing) split or fragment so as to no longer function or exist: [no object]: the movement had fractured without his leadership
More example sentences
  • But the splits that fractured the women's movement are hairline cracks compared with the schisms within the Pankhurst family itself.
  • By the time he had resigned from his position he'd fractured the organization in two and been accused by his own department as being ‘dangerous’.
  • Generations are split up and badly fractured like never before.
1.3 (as adjective fractured) (Of speech or a language) broken.
Example sentences
  • But in China these days, fractured French and its equally mal-appropriate cousins are no laughing matter.
  • Half-understood insults and ironic declarations of love converge into a disorienting swirl of fractured English and pidgin Arabic.
  • On the other hand, I love sketching building plans and am well capable of pursuing recalcitrant plumbers and joiners in fractured French.


Late Middle English: from French, or from Latin fractura, from frangere 'to break'.

Words that rhyme with fracture

facture, manufacture

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: frac·ture

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.