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Pronunciation: frak'talz

Definition: Mathematical patterns developed by Benoit Mandelbrot in 1977, in which small parts have the same shape as the whole. Blood vessels and the bronchial tree behave as fractals; some infections and neoplasms also behave as fractals.

[Fr., fr. L. fractus, broken, pp. of frango, to break, + -al]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.