bias

noun
bi·​as | \ ˈbī-əs How to pronounce bias (audio) \

Definition of bias

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : 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
3a : 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
4a : 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
1 : diagonally to the grain of a fabric cut the cloth on the bias sleeves cut on the bias
2 : at an angle : diagonally to the fibers of something cut the meat on the bias carrots cut on the bias

bias

verb
biased or biassed; biasing or biassing

Definition of bias (Entry 2 of 4)

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)

Definition of bias (Entry 3 of 4)

: diagonal, slanting used chiefly of fabrics and their cut

bias

adverb

Definition of bias (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : diagonally cut cloth bias
2 obsolete : awry

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Other Words from bias

Adjective

biasness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for bias

Noun

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

Verb

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?

Bias vs. Biased

Verb

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”).

Examples of bias in a Sentence

Noun … 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 Blatant racial and gender discrimination is just about over, creating a sociological space in which to worry about subtler forms of bias. — Gregg Easterbrook, New Republic, 20 Dec. 1999 Like the printing press before it, the computer has a powerful bias toward amplifying personal autonomy and individual problem-solving. — Katha Pollitt, Nation, 9 Oct. 1995 He showed a bias toward a few workers in particular. Do they have a bias against women? The company was accused of racial bias. The decision was made without bias. She showed no bias toward older clients. a student with a strong bias towards the arts Verb 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 Review, 24 Feb. 1980 I don't want to bias you against the movie, but I thought the book was much better. The circumstances could bias the results of the survey. Adverb made of fabric cut bias
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Local civil advocacy groups admonished Penzone's defenses for preserving law enforcement funding, arguing that deescalation training and implicit bias training have done little to stem violence toward people of color. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, "Facing reelection, Sheriff Paul Penzone threatens fallout from 'defund police' calls," 6 Aug. 2020 Whitmer earlier this summer ordered implicit bias training for state staff, including medical professionals, herself, and her executive staff. Washington Examiner, "'A lot of work to do': Gretchen Whitmer declares racism public health crisis in Michigan," 5 Aug. 2020 Whitmer earlier ordered implicit bias training for the state's medical professionals, herself, and her executive staff. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Gov. Whitmer declares racism a public health crisis in Michigan," 5 Aug. 2020 But creating real diversity and inclusion doesn’t stop at hiring and things like implicit bias training. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "Your Black Coworkers Are Still Not Okay—Here’s How to Support Them," 31 July 2020 And the district's roughly 1,500 employees are getting implicit bias training to try to prevent students of color from being disciplined more harshly. Colleen Slevin, Star Tribune, "Some educators of color resist push for police-free schools," 31 July 2020 At a June 22 news conference in St. Louis, members of the Ethical Society of Police repeated their wish for mandatory cultural competency and bias training for all ranks in the department. Dan Zak, Washington Post, "The duty and burden of the black police officer," 6 July 2020 The Justice In Policing Act, which passed the House of Representatives last week, would require racial bias training and increase funding for body cameras. Sidney Fussell, Wired, "What Disbanding the Police Really Meant in Camden, New Jersey," 1 July 2020 The subsequent protests led to some light reforms, like bias training for the city’s police. Krithika Varagur, The New York Review of Books, "Pulling Down ‘the Wall of No’ on Police Reform in Minneapolis," 26 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While the federal government collects data on hate crimes against transgender people, bias against gender identity is not covered by Ohio law. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Two Black transgender women were killed last week. Thousands showed up to protest," 16 June 2020 While the federal government collects data on hate crimes against transgender people, bias against gender identity is not covered by Ohio law. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Two Black transgender women were killed last week. Thousands showed up to protest," 16 June 2020 While the federal government collects data on hate crimes against transgender people, bias against gender identity is not covered by Ohio law. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Two Black transgender women were killed last week. Thousands showed up to protest," 16 June 2020 While the federal government collects data on hate crimes against transgender people, bias against gender identity is not covered by Ohio law. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Two Black transgender women were killed last week. Thousands showed up to protest," 16 June 2020 While the federal government collects data on hate crimes against transgender people, bias against gender identity is not covered by Ohio law. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Two Black transgender women were killed last week. Thousands showed up to protest," 16 June 2020 While the federal government collects data on hate crimes against transgender people, bias against gender identity is not covered by Ohio law. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Family: Victim in Liberty Township killing was transgender, ‘just wanted to be accepted’," 12 June 2020 These survey estimates might be biased because the type of people who respond to such ads could be particularly likely or unlikely to have been infected. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "Three key concepts for interpreting data in the age of coronavirus," 25 Apr. 2020 That raises the possibility that the study is biased, as people who are out shopping may also be people more likely to be exposed to the virus. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "Preliminary analysis finds 13.9% of New Yorkers infected with coronavirus," 23 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In San Jose, California, anti-bias trainer Derrick Sanderlin was shot in the groin with a rubber bullet after trying to talk to officers with his arms raised. Zipporah Osei, ProPublica, "What Has Happened to Police Filmed Hurting Protesters? So Far, Very Little.," 29 July 2010 Retired Santa Clara Superior Court Judge LaDoris Cordell worried that Johnson and BART police simply have too much baggage to engage in a productive anti-bias training. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Oscar Grant lost his life because of a BART police shooting. Now his mother wants to train the agency to prevent such tragedies," 25 June 2020 The time since has been filled with significant but incremental changes, from anti-bias training to the adoption of body cameras to the curtailment of stop-and-frisk practices. NBC News, "Trump says his policing order is a 'big step.' Activists call it 'breadcrumbs.'," 16 June 2020 Vitale: Some of the research shows that officer behavior gets worse after these anti-bias training. The Atlantic, "Listen: Would Defunding the Police Make Us Safer?," 6 June 2020 In a tweet Thursday morning, the international corporation announced its $1 million donation toward racial equity organizations and new publicly available, anti-bias training. Devon Link, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Black Lives Matter supporters don't get a free Frappuccino at Starbucks," 5 June 2020 The review will be expansive and include an investigation of use-of force procedures, anti-bias community policing and officer accountability, Becerra said. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, "California AG launches probe of Vallejo police use of force, training after fatal shootings," 5 June 2020 Funding the next phase of the collaborative agreement, an anti-bias policing agreement signed in the wake of Cincinnati’s 2001 riots. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "Here’s what may be next for police reform in Cincinnati," 3 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of bias

Noun

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

circa 1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1551, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

1575, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bias

Noun, Verb, Adjective, and Adverb

Middle French biais

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Learn More about bias

Statistics for bias

Last Updated

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bias.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bias. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for bias

bias

noun
How to pronounce bias (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bias

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of bias (Entry 2 of 2)

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

bias

noun
bi·​as | \ ˈbī-əs How to pronounce bias (audio) \

Kids Definition of bias

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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.

bias

verb
biased or biassed; biasing or biassing

Kids Definition of bias (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give a prejudiced outlook to Existing ideas may bias his observation of events.

bias

noun
bi·​as | \ ˈbī-əs How to pronounce bias (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on bias

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bias

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bias

Spanish Central: Translation of bias

Nglish: Translation of bias for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bias for Arabic Speakers

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