1. A small part broken off or detached.
2. An incomplete or isolated portion; a bit: overheard fragments of their conversation; extant fragments of an old manuscript.
3. Grammar A sentence fragment.
v. (-mĕnt′) frag·ment·ed, frag·ment·ing, frag·ments
To break or separate (something) into fragments.
To become broken into fragments: After the election, the coalition fragmented.
[Middle English, from Latin fragmentum, from frangere, frag-, to break; see bhreg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.