from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A line going diagonally across the grain of fabric.
  • noun A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment.
  • noun An unfair act or policy stemming from prejudice.
  • noun A statistical sampling or testing error caused by systematically favoring some outcomes over others.
  • noun A weight or irregularity in a ball that causes it to swerve, as in lawn bowling.
  • noun The tendency of such a ball to swerve.
  • noun The fixed voltage applied to an electrode.
  • adjective Slanting or diagonal; oblique.
  • transitive verb To influence in a particular, typically unfair direction.
  • transitive verb To apply a small voltage to (a grid).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An oblique or diagonal line; especially, a cut which is oblique to the texture of a fabric; hence, in dressmaking, a seam formed by bringing together two pieces thus cut; specifically, one of the front seams of a close-fitting waist: sometimes called a dart.
  • noun In bowling, a bulge or greater weight on one side of a bowl; a difference in the shape and weight of the two sides or poles of a bowl, causing it to curve in its course toward the lighter and less bulged side; hence, the curved course of such a bowl.
  • noun A one-sided tendency of the mind; undue propensity toward an object; a particular leaning or inclination; bent; specifically, in law, prejudice, as of a witness: used most frequently to denote prejudice and habits of thought which prevent the fair or dispassionate consideration of any subject or question.
  • noun Synonyms Propensity, Inclination, etc. (see bent), prepossession, predisposition, predilection, partiality.
  • Oblique; slanting; diagonal to the outline or to the texture: now used only or chiefly of fabrics or dress: as, a bias line (in former use) in a drawing; a bias piece in a garment.
  • Loaded or swelled on one side, like a biased bowl.
  • In a slanting manner; obliquely.
  • To give a bias to, as a bowl; furnish with a bias. See bias, n., 2.
  • To incline to one side; give a particular direction to the mind of; prejudice; warp: prepossess: as, the judgment is often biased by interest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Inclined to one side; swelled on one side.
  • adjective Cut slanting or diagonally, as cloth.
  • adverb In a slanting manner; crosswise; obliquely; diagonally.
  • noun A weight on the side of the ball used in the game of bowls, or a tendency imparted to the ball, which turns it from a straight line.
  • noun A leaning of the mind; propensity or prepossession toward an object or view, not leaving the mind indifferent; bent; inclination.
  • noun A wedge-shaped piece of cloth taken out of a garment (as the waist of a dress) to diminish its circumference.
  • noun A slant; a diagonal.
  • transitive verb To incline to one side; to give a particular direction to; to influence; to prejudice; to prepossess.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun countable (uncountable) inclination towards something; predisposition, partiality, prejudice, preference, predilection
  • noun countable, textiles the diagonal line between warp and weft in a woven fabric
  • noun electronics a voltage or current applied for example to a transistor electrode
  • noun statistics the difference between the expectation of the sample estimator and the true population value, which reduces the representativeness of the estimator by systematically distorting it
  • noun sports In the game of crown green bowls: a weight added to one side of a bowl so that as it rolls, it will follow a curved rather than a straight path; the oblique line followed by such a bowl; the lopsided shape or structure of such a bowl.
  • verb transitive To place bias upon; to influence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective slanting diagonally across the grain of a fabric
  • noun a line or cut across a fabric that is not at right angles to a side of the fabric
  • verb influence in an unfair way
  • noun a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation
  • verb cause to be biased


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French biais, slant, from Provençal, perhaps ultimately from Greek epikarsios, slanted; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French biasis, from Old Provençal biais ("way, angle, slant").


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  • The mean difference or bias between the two records during their period of overlap (dT) is used to adjust one record before the two are averaged, leading to identification of this way for combining records as the “bias” method (HL87) or, alternatively, as the “reference station” method Peterson et al., 1998b.

    Waldo in Bagdarin, Siberia « Climate Audit 2007

  • The mean difference or bias between the two records during their period of overlap (dT) is used to adjust one record before the two are averaged, leading to identification of this way for combining records as the “bias” method (HL87) or, alternatively, as the “reference station” method Peterson et al., 1998b.

    Notes on GISS Station Data « Climate Audit 2007

  • _bias_ of the balance; suppose the unloaded balance swings +1.25 and -1; the bias then is (1. 25-1)/2 = +.125 or one-eighth of a division to the right.

    A Text-book of Assaying: For the Use of Those Connected with Mines. Cornelius Beringer 1886

  • When designing and proposing new policies designed to address bias, policymakers and politicians must take into account the fact that the word bias itself means very different things to different constituencies.

    Sam Sommers: When Whites Feel Marginalized Sam Sommers 2011

  • Confirmatoin bias is a psychological double standard which is displayed when we tend to seek support for what we already believe, rather than to seek out information that might undermine our beliefs.

    Waldo Jaquith - Webb on the Colbert Report. 2006

  • Fans use the term bias as a way to defend their team, their guys.

    NYT > Home Page By TYLER KEPNER 2010

  • Cutting to the chase in lay terms, the sinister attribution bias translates as "I'm OK, but you're a jerk."

    Inside Higher Ed 2009

  • Long and short Monte, if you want to advocate a policy to address a government created distortion in the market then you would advocate additional taxes on * savings* because the bias is already in that direction.

    Trade Deficit, Saving, and Tax Policy, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty 2009

  • But to call it a bias is a knee-jerk reaction that reeks of the lack of thoughtfulness that you yourself bemoan.

    Vote now! Wine Person of the Decade [the Naughties] | Dr Vino's wine blog 2009

  • So they are basically saying media bias is a supply side story, not a demand side story, which is lovely and believable, but to me the big question left hanging here is so what?

    All the news that fits our ideology 2008

  • This “adultification bias” means black girls are held to higher standards and subject to harsher punishments than their white peers.

    Systemic racism cost 14-year-old Honestie Hodges her life Arwa Mahdawi 2020


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