Definition of fractal in English:



  • A curve or geometrical figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole. They are useful in modelling structures (such as snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth and galaxy formation.

    • ‘The approach of this paper was originally developed in to study the Hausdorff measure of certain parameterized families of fractals.’
    • ‘He argued that the combination of the personal computer, the Internet, and interest in fractals, chaos, and related mathematical topics has in recent years greatly facilitated the intertwining of art and math.’
    • ‘Related, but not directly, I have spent much time getting to know fractals, 4d geometry, and other ‘strange’ mathematical phenomena.’
    • ‘Mathematicians can use similar algorithms to generate fractals and other forms.’
    • ‘For example, we observe the presence of coexisting lipid phases (one phase less ordered than the other phase) and unstable domain growth that results in patterns such as fractals.’
    • ‘The researchers discovered that Pollock's patterns could be characterized as fractals - shapes that repeat themselves on different scales within the same object.’
    • ‘The implications of map theory, game theory, topology, the fractals of chaos theory, have all lurked in ornament, awaiting their elevation to science.’
    • ‘Computer programs help diagram elaborate formations of tiny spirals that form massive, spiraled fractals to describe, say, the economic tendencies of your new, island society.’
    • ‘Many natural chaotic systems form fractals in the patterns that record the process.’
    • ‘Nature builds its fractals using statistical self-similarity: the patterns observed at different magnifications, although not identical, are described by the same statistics.’
    • ‘Like a mountain range whose profile appears equally craggy when observed from both far and near, fractals are used to define curves and surfaces, independent of their scale.’
    • ‘Some of the complexity has been captured in modern pictures of fractals, many of which are created by iterating functions of this kind.’
    • ‘Importantly, such objects, known as fractals, turn out to be very useful for describing the shapes of physical objects such as mountains, coast lines, fractures, cracks and so on.’
    • ‘He likes problems in diverse fields (harmonic analysis, fractals, and tilings, to name a few) that involve algebraic integers, such as Pisot and Salem numbers.’
    • ‘The new sciences of complexity - fractals, nonlinear dynamics, the new cosmology, self-organizing systems - have brought about the change in perspective.’
    • ‘He showed how fractals can occur in many different places in both mathematics and elsewhere in nature.’
    • ‘Strange attractors have detailed structure on all scales of magnification and were one of the early fractals to be studied.’
    • ‘But as the technology and computing power advanced, those working on the project would test more and more complex patterns, such as the most obvious candidates - fractals.’
    • ‘Euclidean geometry, Fibonacci numbers, the digits of pi, the notion of algorithms, concepts of infinity, fractals, and other ideas furnished the mathematical underpinnings.’
    • ‘Mathematicians have long been taken with the concept of fractals, which posits that patterns are made up of smaller, self-contained patterns.’


  • Relating to or of the nature of a fractal or fractals.

    ‘fractal geometry’
    • ‘The current visual novelty of abstractions derived from digital technology, fractal geometry and literary theory is usually the product of inventive imagination rather than empathic imagination.’
    • ‘A number of fractal dimension algorithms were developed and evaluated using a field data set of 100 incidents.’
    • ‘During this time the writer also became increasingly curious about the link between science and spiritual potential, developing a keen interest in fractal geometry, quantum mechanics and chaos theory.’
    • ‘Chaos theory is everywhere now: landscapes and starscapes in sci-fi movies, image compression software, even your laser printer uses fractal algorithms.’
    • ‘More precisely, the recursive nature, which is essential for fractal models, is lacking in the procedural approach.’
    • ‘Then we study the technique formally, and then apply it to images of fractal art.’
    • ‘His research focuses on the interplay between fractal geometry and stochastic processes.’
    • ‘It should be remembered that in his era there was little thought or knowledge of fractal geometry, curved space or different degrees of infinity.’
    • ‘Would the present obsession with fractal geometry have come about anyway as part of the ever changing taste of architectural stylists, or is it an inevitable result of computer power?’
    • ‘While classical geometry assumes that objects exist in integer dimensions, fractal geometry deals with objects that have non-integer dimensions.’
    • ‘His unique knowledge of subjects such as fractal dynamics, subspace theory, a tri-vector system and others, has made this energetic feedback system possible.’
    • ‘The first condition that must be fulfilled to apply scaling analysis techniques is that the growth behavior of a process lie in the fractal nature of the interface.’
    • ‘Each level of expression contributed to the next, and over the course of millennia we created mathematical theory, from basic arithmetic to algebra, from calculus to fractal geometry.’
    • ‘To explain the concept of fractal dimension, it is necessary to understand what we mean by dimension in the first place.’
    • ‘This result also solved a long-standing open problem concerning the existence of certain fractal sets in the plane.’
    unmethodical, uncoordinated, undirected, disorganized, unarranged, unplanned, unpremeditated, indiscriminate
    View synonyms


1970s: from French, from Latin fract- ‘broken’, from the verb frangere.