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/Share-Alike 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 driving-shafts 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


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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