Definition of fracture in English:



mass noun
  • 1The cracking or breaking of a hard object or material.

    ‘ground movements could cause fracture of the pipe’
    • ‘That will produce stress or fatigue with an increased risk of fracture.’
    • ‘The risk of hip fracture increases with aging but the risk of wrist fracture does not.’
    • ‘Possible analogy with material fracture and/or invasive percolation can also be suspected.’
    • ‘There is evidence that drinking a lot of coffee - about four or more cups a day - can increase the risk of fracture.’
    • ‘Calcium and vitamin D supplements can be of benefit for older people of both sexes to reduce the risk of hip fracture.’
    • ‘The treatment did appear to increase the risk of stroke but decrease risk of hip fracture.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the fall in bone density with age makes an important contribution to risk of fracture for at least some fragility fractures.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Such nanocrystalline ceramics are particularly hard, but they're brittle and fracture easily.’
    • ‘Vitamin D deficiency boosts risk of jaw fracture and gum disease.’
    • ‘In men the decline is more gradual, but the risk of fracture is serious by age 65.’
    • ‘Patients without fracture who are at risk for osteoporosis can also benefit from these preventive measures.’
    • ‘They are potentially suitable for use by older people at high risk of hip fracture rather than older people generally.’
    • ‘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.’
    breaking, breakage, cracking, cleavage, rupture, shattering, fragmentation, splintering, splitting, separation, bursting, disintegration
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    1. 1.1count noun A crack or break in a hard object or material, typically a bone or a rock stratum.
      ‘a fracture of the left leg’
      • ‘Bone scanning is sensitive but not specific for detecting stress fractures, healing fractures, infections and tumors.’
      • ‘My back was broken in two places - one break and one compressed fracture.’
      • ‘Many of the most ancient gold mines, and some of the more famous ones from modern times, were simple gold-bearing quartz - pyrite veins in faults and other fractures in rocks.’
      • ‘Conditions such as an uncorrected fracture of the shin bone, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or Paget's disease can distort the ends of the bones and cause knock knee in adults.’
      • ‘Direct injury to the spine may cause a bone fracture anywhere along your vertebral column.’
      • ‘All indicate that, even at the greatest depths, the rocks are fractured and the fractures contain aqueous fluids.’
      • ‘If a break occurred in the skin overlying the fracture, it must be considered an open fracture, necessitating orthopedic referral.’
      • ‘He had a skull fracture, was in serious shock and had a compound leg fracture.’
      • ‘Stress fractures are partial fractures, often hairline cracks in the bone, caused by repeated stress.’
      • ‘When fractures occur, the bone is not always broken completely.’
      • ‘Where limestone occurs adjacent to ironstone, it shows various stages of replacement by chert and hematitic material parallel to bedding and along fractures.’
      • ‘As the magma in the intruding sill moves updip, the tensile stress on an intersecting fracture above the sill becomes greater, and the tensile strength of the sediments becomes less.’
      • ‘A previous spinal fracture is an important risk factor for subsequent hip fractures in both men and women.’
      • ‘Quakes radiate along fault lines, which often are existing fractures in the rock but can also be created by a new line of breakage.’
      • ‘This situation raises numerous possibilities for mineral reactions, especially when the fractures transect different rock types.’
      • ‘For an older person a hip fracture is a devastating injury that greatly increases disability and mortality.’
      • ‘The latter do not include typical pegmatite minerals and appear mainly along the tectonic fractures present at this locality.’
      • ‘Along with the fractures, bone chips, and muscle strains, I received scars on my back, arms and shoulders, my forehead, and my knees.’
      • ‘Severe pain over a bone might indicate a fracture or an injury to a ligament.’
      break, breakage, crack, split
      crack, split, fissure, crevice, break, rupture, breach, rift, cleft, slit, chink, gap, cranny, interstice, opening, aperture, rent
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    2. 1.2 The physical appearance of a freshly broken rock or mineral, especially as regards the shape of the surface formed.
      ‘obsidian shows a conchoidal fracture’
      • ‘The mineral is brittle with a conchoidal to uneven fracture.’
      • ‘Its fracture is conchoidal to uneven, its density is about 3.73, and its hardness varies from 5.5 to 6.5.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is brittle, breaking with a conchoidal to uneven fracture, and it has a hardness of 2.5 and a measured density of 5.82.’
  • 2Phonetics
    The replacement of a simple vowel by a diphthong owing to the influence of a following sound, typically a consonant.

    1. 2.1count noun A diphthong substituted by fracture.


  • 1Break or cause to break.

    no object ‘the stone has fractured’
    with object ‘ancient magmas fractured by the forces of wind and ice’
    • ‘His characters are fractured, broken people, who find happiness too late and too unsatisfactorily, if at all.’
    • ‘In particular he studied magma flow beneath the Earth's surface to obtain a better understanding of volcanic eruptions when magma flows through fractures in the Earth's surface.’
    • ‘This inequality leads to fracturing within the stone and eventual disintegration.’
    • ‘It shows fractured blocks of ancient sedimentary rock separated by recent sand dunes.’
    • ‘I kicked and the water fractured, shattered into hundreds of ripples that milled out and scattered over the lake's surface.’
    • ‘Broken columns of rock fractured from the face are tumbled like a game of jackstraws below.’
    • ‘The development of extensional and shear fractures in volcanic areas is usually related to magma emplacement at shallow crustal levels.’
    • ‘As the characters descend into madness, the camera work also begins to fracture and break down.’
    • ‘In the past, areas of Swindon had experienced peaks of high pressure that sometimes led to leakage, burst pipes and fractured mains.’
    • ‘Old and isolated ash stood torn and fractured and afflicted with black balls of fungi.’
    • ‘Typically hydraulic fracturing is conducted in vertical boreholes.’
    • ‘Everyone adores this brilliant fractured fairy story and love to sing along and anticipate their favourite lines.’
    • ‘She used locally quarried andesite, a brittle stone that fractures into sharp, angular shapes and has a sparkly surface.’
    • ‘The methodology is based on the integration of a geomechanical reservoir description into fracturing design.’
    • ‘The satellite images used in the study also showed the lower parts of the glaciers fracturing and disintegrating in response to the loss of the ice shelf.’
    • ‘In fact the opening title track is a bit orchestral, though swamped with shortwave radio static and increasingly fractured, distorted bursts of strings, organ and guitar.’
    • ‘The process enhances flakability by reducing fracture toughness, a measure of a stone's resistance to fracture propagation.’
    • ‘Blast-enhanced fracturing is a process used at sites with fractured bedrock formations.’
    • ‘I squeezed the thing in my claw until it fractured and splintered into a spray of shards and powder.’
    break, snap, crack, cleave, rupture, shatter, smash, smash to smithereens, fragment, splinter, split, separate, burst, blow out
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    1. 1.1with object Sustain a fracture of (a bone)
      ‘a fractured skull’
      • ‘During podium training, she landed short on a tumbling pass, fracturing her fibula and tearing ligaments in her ankle.’
      • ‘I had fractured the bone above the knee and the unbroken part was responding to the reaction of foot movement, but there was no connection, a most eerie sensation.’
      • ‘Just because your ribs don't hurt when you poke them, does not mean you didn't fracture or break your ribs.’
      • ‘The scaphoid is the most commonly fractured bone of the wrist.’
      • ‘It is quite impossible to conceive of a more serious attempt at killing someone than this because his skull was fractured and bone went into his brain.’
      • ‘While riding another horse, he fell and shattered his collarbone, broke his shoulder, and fractured his ribs.’
      • ‘Signs of osteoporosis include joint pain, difficulty standing or sitting up straight, or fracturing a bone without much force or impact.’
      • ‘The girl broke shattered her pelvis in two places, fractured her left arm and broke her thumb.’
      • ‘It was also severely burned and had fractured bones and skull.’
      • ‘I got injured a lot, mostly broken wrists and collar-bones, but one Christmas I fractured my pelvis at Limerick and was out for four or five months.’
      • ‘She has never required any surgical procedures or fractured any bones.’
      • ‘She had a fractured left ankle and a right wrist so badly broken that the bone went through her skin.’
      • ‘He fractured both legs, broke his right ankle and had deep cuts to his forehead.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He testified that his father broke her nose and fractured her ribs.’
      • ‘His leg was broken, his cheekbone and nose fractured and he spent eight days in hospital.’
      • ‘Three of her ribs had been fractured and her wrist broken.’
      • ‘He fractured his neck, and broke an arm and collarbone.’
      • ‘It doesn't always work: Five years ago in the Alps she landed badly on a jump, breaking her pelvis and fracturing a vertebra.’
      • ‘A 55 year-old man broke his pelvis and fractured both his legs.’
      broken, cracked, splintered, shattered, ruptured
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    2. 1.2 (with reference to a group or organization) split or fragment and become unable to function or exist.
      no object ‘the movement had fractured without his leadership’
      • ‘Generations are split up and badly fractured like never before.’
      • ‘So, at the moment you still have security forces that are essentially fractured into two camps.’
      • ‘Without goals, everyone will slip into their own direction, and fracture any sense of unity in the work that is produced.’
      • ‘The Guild fractured and our leaders began attacking one another, so the whole thing collapsed.’
      • ‘So, where do cultural organizations and cultural experiences fit in this increasingly fractured world?’
      • ‘For a time, the revolt chilled the atmosphere in which they had to operate and stimulated a vigorous debate within their fracturing movement about the appropriate means to effect the desired end of emancipation.’
      • ‘As a consultant, it's not unusual for me to discover a workplace fractured into territories.’
      • ‘But the splits that fractured the women's movement are hairline cracks compared with the schisms within the Pankhurst family itself.’
      • ‘We have our high points but then we fracture and split.’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘We're definitely moving in a positive direction, but each time we make a leap to a new level of functionality, things get more complicated and fractured and difficult for a while.’
      • ‘It's a story of passages, of a family that we have known for many years fracturing and moving on in their separate ways.’
      • ‘Already the wind farm legacy has left fractured and divided host communities, where developers have used the divide and rule strategy by creating winners and losers.’
      • ‘Is it any wonder that the country grows restive and fractured as common sense seeps away from law enforcement?’
      • ‘Large organisations are constructed to fracture and dilute accountability.’
      • ‘In so doing, the organisation can fracture families and, potentially, tie youngsters into a spiral of irresponsible and dangerous behaviour.’
      • ‘All were in the same community - fractured, split apart, nursing bitterness.’
      • ‘The cracks are reappearing; without a common sense of moral purpose, the party will fracture into its constituent, warring factions.’
      • ‘With many factions and continuous fracturing, the young country struggled to gain a sense of national union.’
      • ‘The women's movement in Egypt is multi-faceted and fractured.’
      break apart, rupture, fissure, snap, come apart, splinter
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    3. 1.3as adjective fractured (of speech or a language) faltering and full of mistakes; broken.
      ‘they'd misinterpreted his fractured English’
      • ‘One of Yasim's family hands me an acoustic guitar which, he explains in fractured English, was left here by a missionary.’
      • ‘In the process he gave perhaps a more accurate impression of the hard professional operator lurking behind the fractured English and the cartoon-like gestures.’
      • ‘But in China these days, fractured French and its equally mal-appropriate cousins are no laughing matter.’
      • ‘Enid spoke fractured English at best, and I could hear the rest of the mob shouting in the background.’
      • ‘They both jabber away in fractured English and occasionally stroke each other's cheeks.’
      • ‘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’.