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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. (uncountable) inclination towards something; predisposition, partiality, prejudice, preference, predilection
  • n. the diagonal line between warp and weft in a woven fabric
  • n. a voltage or current applied for example to a transistor electrode
  • n. 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
  • n. 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.
  • v. To place bias upon; to influence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Inclined to one side; swelled on one side.
  • adj. Cut slanting or diagonally, as cloth.
  • adv. In a slanting manner; crosswise; obliquely; diagonally.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A leaning of the mind; propensity or prepossession toward an object or view, not leaving the mind indifferent; bent; inclination.
  • n. A wedge-shaped piece of cloth taken out of a garment (as the waist of a dress) to diminish its circumference.
  • n. A slant; a diagonal.
  • transitive v. To incline to one side; to give a particular direction to; to influence; to prejudice; to prepossess.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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


French biais, slant, from Provençal, perhaps ultimately from Greek epikarsios, slanted; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French biasis, from Old Provençal biais ("way, angle, slant"). (Wiktionary)



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