Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, relating to, being, or affecting only a part; not total; incomplete: The plan calls for partial deployment of missiles. The police have only a partial description of the suspect.
  • adj. Favoring one person or side over another or others; biased or prejudiced: a decision that was partial to the plaintiff.
  • adj. Having a particular liking or fondness for something or someone: partial to spicy food.
  • adj. 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.
  • n. Music See harmonic.
  • n. Mathematics A partial derivative.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or affecting, a part only; not general or universal; not total or entire.
  • adj. Inclined to favor one party in a cause, or one side of a question, more then the other; biased; not indifferent.
  • adj. Having a predilection for; inclined to favor unreasonably; foolishly fond.
  • adj. Pertaining to a subordinate portion

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. Same as partial tone.

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

  • adj. (followed by `of' or `to') having a strong preference or liking for
  • n. 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
  • adj. showing favoritism
  • adj. being or affecting only a part; not total
  • n. a harmonic with a frequency that is a multiple of the fundamental frequency

Etymologies

Middle English parcial, from Old French, from Late Latin partiālis, from Latin pars, part-, part; see part.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English parcial ("biased or particular"), from Late Latin partialis ("of or pertaining to a part"), from Latin pars ("part"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Abortion proponents hate the term partial-birth abortion because it accurately and understandably describes that which they would rather euphemize as a form of "choice" or obscure with technical terminology.

    From the WSJ Opinion Archives

  • On this account, perhaps, the term partial monopoly might be fairly applicable.

    An inquiry into the nature and progress of rent, by Thomas Malthus

  • [443] We could use the term partial defeater 'for defeaters that don't require withholding B but do require holding it less firmly.

    Warranted Christian Belief

  • The term partial insanity comprises chiefly those varieties known as impulsive, emotional, and moral.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • Note: The term partial is basically the same as harmonic, but they are counted in a slightly different way.

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • Many lenders are reporting loan modifications as what they call partial payment plans, which is considered negative by the FICO score.

    CNN Transcript Nov 20, 2009

  • Once these philosophers have this distinction in hand, they admit that we need rule-consequentialism's rules for our decision procedure (so they accept what we dubbed partial rule-consequentialism).

    Rule Consequentialism

  • This is where they have issued what they call a partial activation, not the full crew but about a dozen or so agencies, from fire to some of the other emergency police agencies in the region, in the state.

    CNN Transcript Jan 19, 2005

  • Today, attorneys for and against the government's ban on what it calls partial birth abortion began arguing their cases in three different states.

    CNN Transcript Mar 29, 2004

  • On Thursday, the Kenyan government signaled what it called a partial triumph over the militants.

    NYT > Home Page

Comments

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  • JM is planning on being totally partial today

    August 13, 2011