1

bias

noun bi·as \ ˈbī-əs \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of bias

1 a :an inclination of temperament or outlook; especially :a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment :prejudice
b :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
2 :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
3 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
4 a :a voltage applied to a device (such 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 in a Sentence

  1. … members of the opinion media will cherry-pick moments from the debate that support their own ideological biases. —Michelle CottleNew Republic16 Oct. 2000
  2. Blatant racial and gender discrimination is just about over, creating a sociological space in which to worry about subtler forms of bias. —Gregg EasterbrookNew Republic20 Dec. 1999
  3. Like the printing press before it, the computer has a powerful bias toward amplifying personal autonomy and individual problem-solving. —Katha PollittNation9 Oct. 1995
  4. He showed a bias toward a few workers in particular.

  5. Do they have a bias against women?

  6. The company was accused of racial bias.

  7. The decision was made without bias.

  8. She showed no bias toward older clients.

  9. a student with a strong bias towards the arts

Recent Examples of bias from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bias.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of bias

Middle French biais

Synonym Discussion of bias

predilection, prepossession, prejudice, bias mean an attitude of mind that predisposes one to favor something. predilection implies a strong liking deriving from one's temperament or experience.
    • a predilection for travel
prepossession suggests a fixed conception likely to preclude objective judgment of anything counter to it.
    • a prepossession against technology
prejudice usually implies an unfavorable prepossession and connotes a feeling rooted in suspicion, fear, or intolerance.
    • a mindless prejudice against the unfamiliar
bias implies an unreasoned and unfair distortion of judgment in favor of or against a person or thing.
    • a strong bias toward the plaintiff

2

bias

verb

Definition of bias

biased or biassed; biasing or biassing
transitive verb
1 :to give a settled and often prejudiced outlook to
  • his background biases him against foreigners
2 :to apply a slight negative or positive voltage to (something, such as a transistor)

Examples of bias in a Sentence

  1. 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 SilkNew York Times Book Review24 Feb. 1980
  2. I don't want to bias you against the movie, but I thought the book was much better.

  3. The circumstances could bias the results of the survey.

Recent Examples of bias from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bias.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

bias vs. biased

In recent years, we have seen more evidence of the adjectival bias in constructions like “a bias news program” instead of the more usual “a biased news program.” The reason is likely because of aural confusion: the -ed of biased may be filtered out by hearers, which means that bias and biased can sound similar in the context of normal speech. They are not interchangeable, however. The adjective that means “exhibited or characterized by an unreasoned judgment” is biased (“a biased news story”). There is an adjective bias, but it means “diagonal” and is used only of fabrics (“a bias cut across the fabric”).

Origin and Etymology of bias

see 1bias

bias Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of bias

incline, bias, dispose, predispose mean to influence one to have or take an attitude toward something. incline implies a tendency to favor one of two or more actions or conclusions.
    • I incline to agree
bias suggests a settled and predictable leaning in one direction and connotes unfair prejudice.
    • the experience biased him against foreigners
dispose suggests an affecting of one's mood or temper so as to incline one toward something.
    • her nature disposes her to trust others
predispose implies the operation of a disposing influence well in advance of the opportunity to manifest itself.
    • does fictional violence predispose them to accept real violence?

Other Textiles Terms


3

bias

adjective

Definition of bias

:diagonal, slanting used chiefly of fabrics and their cut

biasness

noun

Origin and Etymology of bias

see 1bias


4

bias

adverb

Definition of bias

1 :diagonally
  • cut cloth bias
2 obsolete :awry

Examples of bias in a Sentence

  1. made of fabric cut bias

Origin and Etymology of bias

see 1bias


BIAS Defined for English Language Learners

bias

noun

Definition of bias for English Language Learners

  • : 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


bias

verb

Definition of bias for English Language Learners

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


BIAS Defined for Kids

1

bias

noun bi·as \ ˈbī-əs \

Definition of bias for Students

1 :a seam, cut, or stitching running in a slant across cloth
2 :a favoring of some ideas or people over others :prejudice She has a bias against newcomers.

2

bias

verb

Definition of bias for Students

biased or biassed; biasing or biassing
:to give a prejudiced outlook to Existing ideas may bias his observation of events.

Law Dictionary

bias

noun bi·as \ ˈbī-əs \

legal Definition of bias

:a personal and often unreasoned judgment for or against one side in a dispute :prejudice
  • a judge disqualified because of bias


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