DSAE test file

faction, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more Specific uses of general English faction (derogatory) a party or group having selfish aims, or using unscrupulous methods.
Note:
Use of this term is now seen by many as simplistic or misleading, in that it attributes violence primarily to ‘tribal’ divisions rather than to social conditions such as poverty or urbanization (see quotations 1986 and 1988). Cf. black-on-black (see black noun sense 1 d).
A group or clan of (especially rural) black people engaged in warfare with another group, often over a considerable period of time:
a. Almost invariably attributive; especially in the noun phrases faction fight and faction fighter, and the verbal noun phrase faction fighting.
Note:
‘Faction’ and ‘faction fight’ have been used also of the conflict in Ireland.
1897 E. Prov. Herald 5 Mar.Four Kafir labourers, on the railway, were found guilty of causing the death of Scholtz Jacoba, in a faction fight at Graaff-Reinet.
1993 Natal Witness 13 Apr. 2Faction fighting broke out between the Sokhela and Mbatha tribes at Ngqongeni in the Msinga district.
b. ?nonce. A faction fight.
1979 M. Matshoba Call Me Not a Man 95There have been stabbings, tragic ‘factions’, inkunzi (muggings) and rape.
1979 M. Matshoba Call Me Not a Man 196He had lived through the ’seventy-six hostel-location ‘factions’.
Almost invariably attributive; especially in the noun phrases faction fight and faction fighter, and the verbal noun phrase faction fighting.
A faction fight.
Derivatives:
Hence factional adjective.
1986 Sunday Times 21 Dec. (Extra) 3Men, women and children..fled from their blazing shacks during the bitter factional fighting in the area in June this year.

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18971993

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