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# Definition of: fraction

(frak**′**shən) noun **1.** A disconnected part; fragment; hence, a tiny bit. **2.** Math. A quantity less than a unit, or one expressed as the sum of a number of aliquot parts of a unit. See list of principal kinds of fractions below. **3.** Obs. The act of breaking. **4.** A piece of land smaller than the standard unit of measurement. **5.** Chem. One of the components separated from a substance by fractional distillation: Naphtha is a *fraction* of petroleum.

—*v.t.* To set or separate into fractions. See synonyms under PART. [<OF <L *fractio, -onis* <*fractus*, pp. of *frangere* break]

—common fraction

A fraction expressed by two numbers, a denominator, indicating the number of equal parts into which the unit is to be divided, and a numerator, indicating the number of those parts to be taken. Also called **vulgar fraction.**

—complex fraction

A fraction in which either the numerator or the denominator is a fraction. Also called **compound fraction.**

—continued fraction

A fraction whose denominator is another integer plus another fraction, and so on.

—decimal fraction

A fraction whose denominator is any power of 10 and which may be expressed in decimal form, as 7/10 (0.7), 3/100 (0.03), etc.

—improper fraction

A fraction in which the numerator exceeds the denominator.

—partial fraction

One of a set of fractions whose algebraic sum is a given fraction.

—proper fraction

A fraction in which the numerator is less than the denominator.

—similar fraction

Any of a group of fractions having a common denominator or the same number of decimal places.

—simple fraction

A fraction in which both numerator and denominator are integers.

—unit fraction

A fraction whose numerator is unity.