Webster 1828 Edition



Apt to break out into a passion; apt to quarrel; cross; snappish; as a fractious man.

Definition 2023





fractious (comparative more fractious, superlative most fractious)

  1. given to troublemaking
  2. irritable; argumentative; quarrelsome
    • 2014 November 14, Stephen Halliday, “Scotland 1-0 Republic of Ireland: Maloney the hero”, in The Scotsman:
      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.
    • 2012 November 7, Matt Bai, “Winning a Second Term, Obama Will Confront Familiar Headwinds”, in New York Times:
      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.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, Smith, Elder & Company, London, page 228,
      …in his present fractious mood, she dared whisper no observations, nor ask of him any information.


Derived terms