differential equation


Definition of differential equation

: an equation containing differentials or derivatives of functions — compare partial differential equation

Examples of differential equation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Another plaintiff, Nick Venner, seventeen, dons headphones and begins solving differential equations on his laptop. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Do Americans Have a Constitutional Right to a Livable Planet? Meet the 21 Young People Who Say They Do," 21 Mar. 2019 This makes for a complicated set of relationships that can be studied using differential equations. Eugenia Cheng, WSJ, "Going With the Flow of Traffic," 9 Nov. 2018 Solving the differential equations shows this dependency and leads to some counterintuitive solutions. Eugenia Cheng, WSJ, "Going With the Flow of Traffic," 9 Nov. 2018 Every single neuron has to be defined by a number of different variables, and each variable requires a set of differential equations to run. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "The Monumental Challenge of Mapping the Human Brain," 11 July 2014

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

See More

First Known Use of differential equation

1704, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about differential equation

Statistics for differential equation

Last Updated

5 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for differential equation

The first known use of differential equation was in 1704

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on differential equation

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about differential equation

Comments on differential equation

What made you want to look up differential equation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!