faction

Fractions are smaller parts of whole numbers: one-quarter, one-tenth, one-half, and a faction is a smaller portion of a larger group that breaks away from it. A faction might take a fraction of the people from a large group and start a new group.

The Latin source of the word faction means to "do" or "make," though a faction can seem to be a taking away or un-doing. Politics is one area where faction gets a lot of use, because a political party often starts with a large group but has some members who disagree with a belief or direction. These members separate from the larger party and become a faction of their own, with many of the same beliefs as the original group but with a few new differences, too.

Definitions of faction
  1. noun
    a dissenting clique
    synonyms: sect
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    types:
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    splinter group
    a faction or sect that has broken away from its parent organization
    left, left wing
    those who support varying degrees of social or political or economic change designed to promote the public welfare
    right, right wing
    those who support political or social or economic conservatism; those who believe that things are better left unchanged
    old guard
    a faction that is unwilling to accept new ideas
    pro-choice faction
    those who argue that the decision to have an induced abortion should be made by the mother
    pro-life faction
    those who argue that induced abortion is killing and should be prohibited
    religious right
    United States political faction that advocates social and political conservativism, school prayer, and federal aid for religious groups and schools
    hard right
    the extreme right wing
    type of:
    camp, clique, coterie, ingroup, inner circle, pack
    an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose
  2. noun
    a clique (often secret) that seeks power usually through intrigue
    synonyms: cabal, camarilla, junto
    see moresee less
    type of:
    camp, clique, coterie, ingroup, inner circle, pack
    an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose
  3. noun
    conflict between members of the same organization (usually concealed from outsiders)
    synonyms: in-fighting
    see moresee less
    type of:
    combat, fight, fighting, scrap
    the act of fighting; any contest or struggle
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