“The faction that existed between the group members caused the group to split into two distinct factions – one favoring further investment and one favoring cost reduction.”

Based on the above information, which of the following are the most accurate definitions of faction?

I. A subset of a larger group
II. Conflict within a group
III. The formation of a large group

Check your answer!

Choice A - I only
Choice B - I and II
Choice C - I and III
Choice D - II and III


Faction (noun) – a subset within, or breaking off from, a larger group; or conflict within a group

GRE pro tips:

It is easier to remember what faction means by relating it to two very similar sounding words: fraction and fracture. A fracture is a break or partial break, such as a bone fracture, and a fraction, as in math, is a part of a larger whole. Likewise, you can think of faction in a group as either a conflict or break (fracture) in the group or else simply as a subset (fraction) of the group.

Example sentences:

“Her disdain for tradition spurred on formation of the faction within the group, as she convinced many of her coworkers to question the group’s antiquated practices.”

“A small faction within the otherwise conservative organization favored high risks.”