Definitions
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
 adj. Of, relating to, or showing a difference.
 adj. Constituting or making a difference; distinctive.
 adj. Dependent on or making use of a specific difference or distinction.
 adj. Mathematics Of or relating to differentiation.
 adj. Involving differences in speed or direction of motion.
 n. Mathematics An infinitesimal increment in a variable.
 n. Mathematics The product of the derivative of a function containing one variable and the increment of the independent variable.
 n. Differential gear.
 n. A difference between comparable things, as in wage rate or in price.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike License
 adj. of, or relating to a difference
 adj. dependent on, or making a difference; distinctive
 adj. having differences in speed or direction of motion
 adj. of, or relating to differentiation, or the differential calculus
 n. the differential gear in an automobile etc
 n. a qualitative or quantitative difference between similar or comparable things
 n. an infinitesimal change in a variable, or the result of differentiation
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
 adj. Relating to or indicating a difference; creating a difference; discriminating; special
 adj. Of or pertaining to a differential, or to differentials.
 adj. Relating to differences of motion or leverage; producing effects by such differences; said of mechanism.
 n. An increment, usually an indefinitely small one, which is given to a variable quantity.
 n. A small difference in rates which competing railroad lines, in establishing a common tariff, allow one of their number to make, in order to get a fair share of the business. The lower rate is called a differential rate. Differentials are also sometimes granted to cities.
 n.
 n. One of two coils of conducting wire so related to one another or to a magnet or armature common to both, that one coil produces polar action contrary to that of the other.
 n. A form of conductor used for dividing and distributing the current to a series of electric lamps so as to maintain equal action in all.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
 Making or exhibiting a difference or distinction; discriminating; distinguishing; special.
 Having or exhibiting a difference.
 In mathematics, pertaining to a differential or differentials, or to mathematical processes in which they are employed.
 n. In math.: An infinitesimal difference between two values of a variable quantity.
 n. A logarithmic tangent.
 n. In boil., a morphological difference; a distinction or distinctive characteristic of form or structure: correlated with equivalent.
 In mech.: So constructed that the resulting motion is the algebraic sum of two unequal motions in opposite directions.
 Having differing velocities, as automobile drivingshafts when rounding corners and curves, and rollers for grinding grain.
 Selective; having different effects upon different kinds of material: as, differential weathering.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
 adj. involving or containing one or more derivatives
 n. the result of mathematical differentiation; the instantaneous change of one quantity relative to another; df(x)/dx
 n. a bevel gear that permits rotation of two shafts at different speeds; used on the rear axle of automobiles to allow wheels to rotate at different speeds on curves
 adj. relating to or showing a difference
 n. a quality that differentiates between similar things
Etymologies
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Examples

This leads me to suspect that the cost differential is due to:
Adverse Results for School Vouchers, Arnold Kling  EconLog  Library of Economics and Liberty

I would say that the least promising source of the differential is valued added from college education.
Tyler Cowen on Income Inequality, Arnold Kling  EconLog  Library of Economics and Liberty

But at least price differential is better reflection of the respective quality of both wines then very close RP score.
Tasting Bordeaux 2005 blind with Robert Parker  Dr Vino's wine blog

In what way did my doing poorly in differential equations — or for that matter doing extremely well in computer programming or nuclear engineering or whatever — relate to the skills needed to succeed in law school?
The Volokh Conspiracy » Do Law Schools Seek “Exciting” and “Diverse” Students?

To give a personal example, I did extremely poorly in differential equations courses in engineering, and did soso in other math courses.
The Volokh Conspiracy » Do Law Schools Seek “Exciting” and “Diverse” Students?

The true differential is that the socalled “right to vote” is actaully [sic] a privilege conferred on the individual by the soceity/government [sic].
The Volokh Conspiracy » Violent Misdemeanants, the Right to Bear Arms, and the Right to Vote

The true differential is that the socalled “right to vote” is actaully a privilege conferred on the individual by the soceity/government.
The Volokh Conspiracy » Violent Misdemeanants, the Right to Bear Arms, and the Right to Vote

Put me down as another Pell Grant recipient who has returned several times the value of the grants in differential taxes (i.e. additional taxes paid due to the difference in income between my professional salary and the deadend job I would probably have had I not gone to college.)

The NailBiters The World Series teams since 1995 that had the smallest win differential in the first two rounds of the postseason.

This contradicts one of baseball's wellrespected analytical statistics called Pythagorean Expectation, a measure developed by stat guru Bill James that says a team's run differential is a good determinant for what its winning percentage should be.
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