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

  • adjective Of, relating to, being, or affecting only a part; not total; incomplete.
  • adjective Favoring one person or side over another or others; biased or prejudiced.
  • adjective Having a particular liking or fondness for something or someone.
  • adjective Mathematics Of or being operations or sequences of operations, such as differentiation and integration, when applied to only one of several variables at a time.
  • noun Mathematics A partial derivative.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Affecting a part only; not general or universal; not total.
  • In botany, subordinate; secondary: as, a partial umbel, peduncle, or involucre.
  • Inclined to favor one party in a cause or one side of a question more than the other; not indifferent; exhibiting favoritism; in a restricted sense, unjust or unfair through favoritism.
  • Greatly or unduly inclined to favor a person or thing; having a liking for, or a prejudice in favor of, an object: when used in the predicate, with to before the object.
  • 3 and Prejudiced, prepossessed, warped, unfair, one-sided.
  • noun Same as partial tone.

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

  • adjective Of, pertaining to, or affecting, a part only; not general or universal; not total or entire.
  • adjective Inclined to favor one party in a cause, or one side of a question, more then the other; biased; not indifferent.
  • adjective Having a predilection for; inclined to favor unreasonably; foolishly fond.
  • adjective (Bot.) Pertaining to a subordinate portion
  • adjective etc. (of a function of two or more variables), the differentials, differential coefficients, differentiation etc., of the function, upon the hypothesis that some of the variables are for the time constant.
  • adjective (Alg.) fractions whose sum equals a given fraction.
  • adjective (Music) the simple tones which in combination form an ordinary tone; the overtones, or harmonics, which, blending with a fundamental tone, cause its special quality of sound, or timbre, or tone color. See, also, Tone.

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

  • adjective Existing as a part or portion; incomplete.
  • adjective computer science Describing a property that holds only when an algorithm terminates.
  • adjective Biased in favor of a person, side, or point of view, especially when dealing with a competition or dispute.
  • noun mathematics A partial derivative: a derivative with respect to one independent variable of a function in multiple variables.
  • noun music An overtone or harmonic.
  • noun dentistry dentures that replace only some of the natural teeth

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

  • adjective (followed by `of' or `to') having a strong preference or liking for
  • noun the derivative of a function of two or more variables with respect to a single variable while the other variables are considered to be constant
  • adjective showing favoritism
  • adjective being or affecting only a part; not total
  • noun a harmonic with a frequency that is a multiple of the fundamental frequency


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

[Middle English parcial, from Old French, from Late Latin partiālis, from Latin pars, part-, part; see part.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English parcial ("biased or particular"), from Late Latin partialis ("of or pertaining to a part"), from Latin pars ("part").


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  • JM is planning on being totally partial today

    August 13, 2011