If you're prone to picking fights, making snarky comments, and being frustratingly stubborn, you're fractious. And odds are you're not invited to too many parties.

Someone who is fractious is cranky, rebellious and inclined to cause problems. Tempers and children are commonly described as such. In To Kill A Mockingbird, author Harper Lee uses the word to describe the trouble-making Calpurnia: "She had always been too hard on me, she had at last seen the error of her fractious ways, she was sorry and too stubborn to say so."

Definitions of fractious
  1. adjective
    easily irritated or annoyed
    “an incorrigibly fractious young man”
    synonyms: cranky, irritable, nettlesome, peckish, peevish, pettish, petulant, scratchy, snarky, techy, testy, tetchy
    having an irritable and unpleasant disposition
  2. adjective
    stubbornly resistant to authority or control
    “a fractious animal that would not submit to the harness”
    synonyms: recalcitrant, refractory
    not obeying or complying with commands of those in authority
  3. adjective
    unpredictably difficult in operation; likely to be troublesome
    “rockets were much too fractious to be tested near thickly populated areas”
    fractious components of a communication system”
    difficult, hard
    not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure
Commonly confused words

factious / fractious

Feeling factious? If so, you disagree and are ready to break away. Add an "r" and you have the word fractious, which means irritated and annoyed. People get these words mixed up because if someone is factious, or rebellious, they're probably also fractious, or mad.

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