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fraction (discord) (now obsolete) +‎ -ous[1]


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈfɹæk.ʃəs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ækʃəs


fractious (comparative more fractious, superlative most fractious)

  1. Given to troublemaking.
    Antonym: unfractious
  2. Irritable; argumentative; quarrelsome.
    Antonym: unfractious
    • 1847 October 16, Currer Bell [pseudonym; Charlotte Brontë], Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. [], volume II, London: Smith, Elder, and Co., [], →OCLC, page 236:
      [] to him, in his present fractious mood, she dared whisper no observations, nor ask of him any information.
    • 2012 November 7, Matt Bai, “Winning a Second Term, Obama Will Confront Familiar Headwinds”, in New York Times[1]:
      That brief moment after the election four years ago, when many Americans thought Mr. Obama’s election would presage a new, less fractious political era, now seems very much a thing of the past.
    • 2014 November 14, Stephen Halliday, “Scotland 1-0 Republic of Ireland: Maloney the hero”, in The Scotsman[2]:
      Flair and invention were very much at a premium, suffocated by the relentless pace and often fractious nature of proceedings. The absence of James Morrison from the centre of Scotland’s midfield, the West Brom man ruled out on the morning of the game by illness, had already diminished the creative capacity of the home side in that department.
    • 2019 December 2, Fiona Harvey, “Climate crisis: what is COP and can it save the world?”, in The Guardian[3]:
      COP stands for conference of the parties under the UNFCCC, and the annual meetings have swung between fractious and soporific, interspersed with moments of high drama and the occasional triumph (the Paris agreement in 2015) and disaster (Copenhagen in 2009).
    • 2022 June 1, Ryan Mac, “Elon Musk to Workers: Spend 40 Hours in the Office, or Else”, in The New York Times[4], →ISSN:
      With his twin notes, Mr. Musk waded directly into a fractious debate over the right way for corporations to bring workers back to the office during the coronavirus pandemic.
    • 2022 October 5, Rowena Mason, “Liz Truss promises ‘growth, growth and growth’ in protest-hit speech”, in The Guardian[5]:
      After a fractious party conference and dire opinion polls for the Tories, the prime minister attempted to speak directly to the public, saying: “I want what you want.”

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “fractious”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.