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From Latin comminūtiō (breaking into pieces, crumbling, shattering; crushing, pulverizing), from Latin comminuō (to break or crumble into small pieces; to crush, pulverize) (from com- (prefix indicating completeness) + minuō (to make smaller; to diminish, lessen), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *mey- (little, small)) + Latin -tiō (suffix forming a noun relating to some action or the result of an action).



comminution (countable and uncountable, plural comminutions)

  1. (often mining, waste management) The breaking or grinding up of a material to form smaller particles.
    • 1978, J. P. La Fage; W. L. Nutting, “Nutrient Dynamics of Termites”, in M. V. Brian, editor, Production Ecology of Ants and Termites (International Biological Programme; 13), Cambridge; New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-21519-0, page 165:
      Termites are herbivores and detritivores variously involved in the comminution and decomposition of vegetable matter, through most of the warm temperate and tropical zones.
  2. (traumatology) The fracture of a bone site in multiple pieces (technically, at least three); crumbling.

Usage notes[edit]

In traumatology, comminution is to be distinguished from a compound or open fracture, though fractures which are both comminuted and compound do occur.


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