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frac·ture (frăkchər)
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n.
1.
a. The act or process of breaking.
b. The condition of having been broken or ruptured: "a sudden and irreparable fracture of the established order" (W. Bruce Lincoln).
2. A break, rupture, or crack, especially in bone or cartilage.
3. Mineralogy
a. The characteristic manner in which a mineral breaks.
b. The characteristic appearance of the surface of a broken mineral.
4. Geology A crack or fault in a rock.
v. frac·tured, frac·tur·ing, frac·tures
v.tr.
1.
a. To cause to break: The impact of the fall fractured the bone. See Synonyms at break.
b. To undergo a break in (a bone): He fractured his ankle in the fall.
2. To disrupt or destroy as if by breaking: fractured the delicate balance of power.
3. To abuse or misuse flagrantly, as by violating rules: ignorant writers who fracture the language.
4. Slang To cause to laugh heartily: "Jack Benny fractured audiences ... for more than 50 years" (Newsweek).
v.intr.
To undergo a fracture.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin frāctūra, from frāctus, past participle of frangere, to break; see bhreg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)
fracture
left to right: transverse, oblique, and greenstick fractures

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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