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 Amazon is using the segment to bolster its case that there has been unfair political influence and bias in the contract process. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Here are Amazon's four exhibits to support claim JEDI contract was improperly awarded," 25 Nov. 2019 The risk management system was originally designed to curb racial bias in policing, after data showed Oakland police were far more likely to target people of color. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, "Oakland to use technology that can flag potentially bad police officers," 23 Nov. 2019 The issue became more magnified after two MIT researchers published a study in 2017 called Gender Shades that showed bias in some of the most used facial recognition systems. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, "Game recap: Detroit Pistons defeat Atlanta Hawks, 128-103," 22 Nov. 2019 In June, a study found that face-recognition technology that Amazon was marketing for law enforcement purposes had a racial and gender bias. CBS News, "Amazon pulls "racist" skin-lightening products," 22 Nov. 2019 Forbes argued that women are indeed held to a higher standard due a confidence gap between men and women, a lack of mentors and sponsors and unconscious bias in the workplace. Halley Bondy, NBC News, "In the know: Women in the news 11/18-11/22," 22 Nov. 2019 In addition to cost, some privacy and civil rights activists have raised concerns about the possibility that racial or class bias could affect who is tested and how often. Phillip Morris, cleveland, "These $40 “haircuts” have the potential to save countless lives: Phillip Morris," 20 Nov. 2019 The issue became more magnified after two MIT researchers published a study in 2017 called Gender Shades that showed bias in some of the most used facial recognition systems. Terry Collins, USA TODAY, "Facial recognition: The fight over the use of our faces is far from over," 19 Nov. 2019 Abiy has also been criticized for the reemergence of ethnic bias in the federal government’s political decision making. Yohannes Gedamu, Quartz Africa, "Ethiopians are losing faith in prime minister Abiy’s promises for peace," 16 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Just the idea that the Apple Card might be biased was enough to turn customers against it. Wired, "Researchers Want Guardrails to Help Prevent Bias in AI," 21 Nov. 2019 Speaking of banking, is the algorithm that assigns credit limits on the new Apple Card biased against women? Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "In China’s Bumpy World of Electric Cars, One Startup Is Gaining Speed," 14 Nov. 2019 DellaVigna and Vivalt's forecasting platform keeps people's responses private to avoid them being biased by other people's opinions. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "“I could’ve told you that” might have a useful role to play in science," 24 Oct. 2019 In their responses to Blumenthal, both Uber and Lyft said fingerprinting may bias against minorities who are more likely to be arrested but not necessarily convicted. Greg Bensinger, courant.com, "Sen. Blumenthal calls on Uber, Lyft to share data on risky drivers, implement fingerprinting," 8 Nov. 2019 Under fire for her record on prosecuting hate crimes, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia refused to appear at a D.C. Council committee hearing Wednesday to discuss her performance, saying the hearing would be biased. Washington Post, "D.C. lawmakers slam U.S. attorney for skipping hate crimes hearing," 23 Oct. 2019 None of this is to say Judge Sheppard is biased against the NFL. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Roger Goodell Under Oath: No-Call Lawsuit Means Deposition for Commissioner," 30 July 2019 Republicans have said the department, then led by Obama administration officials, was biased against Trump. Mary Clare Jalonick, chicagotribune.com, "Is that it after the Mueller hearing? No, lawsuits, investigations and more are still on the way.," 25 July 2019 Republicans have said the department, then led by Obama administration officials, was biased against Trump. Mary Clare Jalonick, Fortune, "What Comes After Mueller Testimony? Investigations and Lawsuits," 25 July 2019

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

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bias.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/biassed. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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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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