Definitions

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

Etymologies

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").

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

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

    Nature and Progress of Rent

  • 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

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • JM is planning on being totally partial today

    August 13, 2011