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
c : bent, tendency
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)

bias

adjective

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 Hate-bias incidents continue to affect others, as well. baltimoresun.com, "Letters: We must stand against hate in Howard County; more from readers | READER COMMENTARY," 7 Apr. 2021 The blurry line between violent and nonviolent crimes has been an open invitation to racial bias by law enforcement and the criminal justice system. David Alan Sklansky, Time, "How We Define Violent Crime in America Shapes Who Gets Punished for It—And Who Doesn't," 7 Apr. 2021 This isn’t to say that there aren’t systemic biases in organizations, such as the way performance evaluations are performed, which can be prone to bias. Paolo Gaudiano, Forbes, "How Microaggressions Relate To Systemic Biases," 5 Apr. 2021 Nancy Maldonado, president and the CEO of the Chicano Federation, said the Latino advocacy organization was founded more than five decades ago in part to stand up against racial bias in policing. Lauryn Schroeder, San Diego Union-Tribune, "A Palpable Fear: Minorities describe encounters with San Diego police, sheriff’s deputies," 4 Apr. 2021 Multnomah County prosecutors launched a campaign last May to encourage Asian Americans to report bias crimes to law enforcement. oregonlive, "Attacker in Asian American bias crime sentenced to restorative justice, not more jail time," 3 Apr. 2021 And so far this year, the department is actively investigating or has solved 35 anti-Asian bias crimes. Weiyi Cai, New York Times, "Swelling Anti-Asian Violence: Who Is Being Attacked Where," 3 Apr. 2021 The bill would make graffiti and other acts of property damage eligible to be counted as bias crimes. Star Tribune, "Anti-Asian hate crimes heighten calls for new legislation in Minnesota, Congress," 31 Mar. 2021 Community members who experience or witness hate crimes are encouraged to contact the UConn Police Department, and bias incidents can also be reported online through the Office for Diversity and Inclusion website. Amanda Blanco, courant.com, "UConn investigating anti-Semitic graffiti, offensive comments toward LGBTQ community," 30 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The inevitable omissions can bias the data against certain groups. Hannah Fry, The New Yorker, "What Data Can’t Do," 22 Mar. 2021 This warped worldview might even bias you, subconsciously, to under-appraise most of the developing world. New York Times, "Can This New Map Fix Our Distorted Views of the World?," 24 Feb. 2021 For as long as humans are prone to bias in making decisions under uncertainty, value investing will remain alive and well. Jeff Henriksen, Forbes, "The Great Value Rotation: A Revival In The Performance Of Value Stocks Masks An Evolution In The Storied Investment Strategy," 4 Mar. 2021 For example, explicit images are sometimes thought to bias juries in legal trials; but a 2018 meta-analysis of 23 studies found that shocking photos did not have a robust effect on mock jurors’ judgments, compared to neutral photos. Nathan Ballantyne, Scientific American, "Can Shocking Images Persuade Doubters of COVID's Dangers?," 25 Jan. 2021 Some of these trials have also been funded by the food industry, which can bias results. Star Tribune, "How foods may affect our sleep," 8 Jan. 2021 These bodycams bias our picture of reality because of the illusion that their footage is exhaustive. Hannah Meyers, Washington Examiner, "Bodycam footage isn't building bridges," 19 Nov. 2020 Lembke said that advocacy could bias the results of the study. al, "Alabama study to look at suicides in patients cut off from opioids," 15 Nov. 2020 Perhaps some specific theologies bias the believer against the idea that human beings could be responsible for the end of humanity. Adrian Bardon, The Conversation, "Faith and politics mix to drive evangelical Christians’ climate change denial," 9 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Civil rights groups have encouraged Congress to follow up that decision and ensure that anti-bias protections addressing such areas as housing, public accommodations and public services are applied in all 50 states. Kevin Freking, Anchorage Daily News, "US House votes to expand legal safeguards for LGBTQ people," 26 Feb. 2021 Civil rights groups have encouraged Congress to follow up that decision and ensure that anti-bias protections addressing such areas as housing, public accommodations and public services are applied in all 50 states. oregonlive, "House passes Equality Act to expand legal safeguards for LGBTQ people," 26 Feb. 2021 Smith College, however, still forced the pair to undergo anti-bias training and apologize to Kanoute. Fox News, "Ex-civil rights leader blasts Smith College for 'perverting' MLK legacy after meritless racism charge," 24 Mar. 2021 Going forward, the council plans to continue to advocate for anti-bias training and for more education on hate in schools, and to forge more partnerships with other communities facing harassment and discrimination, Schupper said. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With anti-Semitism on the rise, Milwaukee's Jewish leaders urge everyone to play role in rooting out hate," 12 Mar. 2021 Civil rights groups have encouraged Congress to follow up that decision and ensure that anti-bias protections addressing such areas as housing, public accommodations and public services are applied in all 50 states. Kevin Freking, Anchorage Daily News, "US House votes to expand legal safeguards for LGBTQ people," 26 Feb. 2021 Civil rights groups have encouraged Congress to follow up that decision and ensure that anti-bias protections addressing such areas as housing, public accommodations and public services are applied in all 50 states. oregonlive, "House passes Equality Act to expand legal safeguards for LGBTQ people," 26 Feb. 2021 Civil rights groups have encouraged Congress to follow up that decision and ensure that anti-bias protections addressing such areas as housing, public accommodations and public services are applied in all 50 states. Kevin Freking, chicagotribune.com, "House poised to pass Equality Act, expanding LGBTQ protections, but Senate fight awaits," 25 Feb. 2021 Civil rights groups have encouraged Congress to follow up that decision and ensure that anti-bias protections addressing such areas as housing, public accommodations and public services are applied in all 50 states. Kevin Freking, Star Tribune, "House votes to expand legal safeguards for LGBTQ people," 25 Feb. 2021

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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Statistics for bias

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bias.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bias. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for bias

bias

noun

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

Nglish: Translation of bias for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bias for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bias

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