Before getting to know the meaning of the term fragment, let’s discover its etymological origin. In this case, we can state that it is a word that derives from Latin, exactly from “fragmentum”, which can be translated as “part of something” and is that it is the result of the sum of the following lexical components:
-The verb “frangere”, which is synonymous with “break”.
-The suffix “-ment”, which is equivalent to “instrument” and “result”.
The term refers to a portion of something that was divided or fractured. For example: “I dropped a glass and the glass fragments were scattered throughout the dining room”, “The murderer dismembered the victim and hid the body fragments in different parts of the city”, “The museum will exhibit a fragment of the Berlin Wall until the end of the year”.
We can therefore establish that among the synonyms for fragment we come across words such as part, piece, fraction or piece. On the contrary, among its antonyms are sum, totality or all, for example.
The fragments are usually small pieces that before were part of a whole. Such a unit can be broken by accident or through an action oriented to that end. Suppose a person is cleaning a ceramic vase when the object slips from his hands and crashes to the ground. The vase, in this way, becomes multiple fragments of pottery scattered about. To rebuild the unit, the fragments would have to be glued, although the result would not be the same and the vase may not look like it did before the fall.
Take the case of two friends who, in a concert, they manage to keep a handkerchief that a singer throws from the stage as a gift to his admirers. In order to share the handkerchief in question and that both can keep that memory, the friends decide to cut the handkerchief and thus each one keeps a fragment.
It is important to mention that the fragments can be parts of a construction site, and even be symbolic fractions (without physical existence): “The writer read a fragment of his novel before dozens of listeners”, “Some parts of the film are very gory”, “The Mexican artist released fragments of the songs that will be part of his next album”.
When talking about literature, it is very common for the great works of history worldwide to be known for some of their fragments. A good example of this is that, for example, the chivalric novel “Don Quixote” (1605), written by Miguel de Cervantes, is especially remembered for the fragment in which the protagonist faces some windmills believing they were giants .
Within the scope of science we have to establish that the term at hand is also used. Thus, for example, when we speak of a meteorite we have to know that this is a fragment of a celestial body that ends up falling on Earth. In addition, it must be taken into consideration that there are several types of them, among which we can highlight the primitive and the differentiated.