early 15c., "small piece or part," from Latin fragmentum "a fragment, remnant," literally "a piece broken off," from base of frangere "to break" (from PIE root *bhreg- "to break").
by 1788 (implied in fragmented), from fragment (n.). Intransitive use from 1961. Related: Fragmenting.
a fragment of rock
fragments of a play
The plate fragmented