noun bi·as \ˈbī-əs\

: a tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly

: a strong interest in something or ability to do something

Full Definition of BIAS

:  a line diagonal to the grain of a fabric; especially :  a line at a 45 degree angle to the selvage often utilized in the cutting of garments for smoother fit
a :  a peculiarity in the shape of a bowl that causes it to swerve when rolled on the green in lawn bowling
b :  the tendency of a bowl to swerve; also :  the impulse causing this tendency
c :  the swerve of the bowl
a :  bent, tendency
b :  an inclination of temperament or outlook; especially :  a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment :  prejudice
c :  an instance of such prejudice
d (1) :  deviation of the expected value of a statistical estimate from the quantity it estimates
(2) :  systematic error introduced into sampling or testing by selecting or encouraging one outcome or answer over others
a :  a voltage applied to a device (as a transistor control electrode) to establish a reference level for operation
b :  a high-frequency voltage combined with an audio signal to reduce distortion in tape recording
on the bias

Examples of BIAS

  1. He showed a bias toward a few workers in particular.
  2. Do they have a bias against women?
  3. The company was accused of racial bias.
  4. The decision was made without bias.
  5. She showed no bias toward older clients.
  6. a student with a strong bias towards the arts
  7. … members of the opinion media will cherry-pick moments from the debate that support their own ideological biases. —Michelle Cottle, New Republic, 16 Oct. 2000

Origin of BIAS

Middle French biais
First Known Use: 1530

Other Psychology Terms

fetish, hypochondria, intelligence, mania, narcissism, neurosis, pathological, psychosis, schadenfreude, subliminal

Rhymes with BIAS


adjective bi·as \ˈbī-əs\

Definition of BIAS

:  diagonal, slanting —used chiefly of fabrics and their cut
bi·as·ness noun

Origin of BIAS

(see 1bias)
First Known Use: 1551

Other Textiles Terms

batt, brocade, duck, flock, lawn, toile


adverb bi·as \ˈbī-əs\

Definition of BIAS

:  diagonally <cut cloth bias>
obsolete :  awry

Examples of BIAS

  1. <made of fabric cut bias>

Origin of BIAS

(see 1bias)
First Known Use: 1575

Other Clothing Terms

babushka, brogue, bumbershoot, cravat, dishabille, furbelow, layette, raiment, spectator


verb bi·as \ˈbī-əs\

: to have a strong and often unfair influence on (someone or something)

bi·ased or bi·assedbi·as·ing or bi·as·sing

Full Definition of BIAS

transitive verb
:  to give a settled and often prejudiced outlook to <his background biases him against foreigners>
:  to apply a slight negative or positive voltage to (as a transistor)

Examples of BIAS

  1. I don't want to bias you against the movie, but I thought the book was much better.
  2. The circumstances could bias the results of the survey.
  3. Unfortunately, his convictions are not clearly and logically developed; they mostly lurk in the background biasing his reporting. He does not always give the reader a fair chance to follow the arguments of the actors—even those with whom he ardently agrees. —Leonard Silk, New York Times Book Review24 Feb. 1980

Origin of BIAS

(see 1bias)
First Known Use: circa 1628

Related to BIAS


geographical name

Definition of BIAS

— see beas


Next Word in the Dictionary: bias–belted tirePrevious Word in the Dictionary: biarticulateAll Words Near: bias
May 23, 2015
debouch Hear it
to emerge or cause to emerge
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