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Definition of "partial" []

  • 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. (adjective)
  • Favoring one person or side over another or others; biased or prejudiced: a decision that was partial to the plaintiff. (adjective)
  • Having a particular liking or fondness for something or someone: partial to spicy food. (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. (adjective)
  • Music See harmonic. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "partial" in a sentence
  • "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."
  • "On this account, perhaps, the term partial monopoly might be fairly applicable."
  • "[443] We could use the term partial defeater 'for defeaters that don't require withholding B but do require holding it less firmly."