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 Long’s idea was to build a computer simulation that would model each of the hundred and fifty-odd steps in photosynthesis as a differential equation. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 6 Dec. 2021 This gives us a differential equation—a mathematical relationship between the rate of change of one quantity and some other quantities. Eugenia Cheng, WSJ, 3 June 2021 The impetus this time was the self-duality equation, a nonlinear differential equation that arises in quantum field theory. Quanta Magazine, 4 Mar. 2021 Just how can a box of gears, cams, racks, and pins handle ballistics calculations based on differential equations with dozens of variables in real time? Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, 24 May 2020 Physicists have a lot of experience in dealing with dynamical systems modelling, differential equations, and computer/ data scientists can analyse the data that is available. Bhavya Dore, Quartz India, 8 Apr. 2020 The Langlands program relates prime number values of polynomial equations to spectra from the differential equations studied in analysis and geometry. Quanta Magazine, 20 Mar. 2018 Five of them will be taking college courses in differential equations, abstract algebra and discrete mathematics as 10th-graders at Pasadena High School this fall. Jay Mathews, Washington Post, 6 July 2019 Another plaintiff, Nick Venner, seventeen, dons headphones and begins solving differential equations on his laptop. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, 21 Mar. 2019 See More

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.

First Known Use of differential equation

1704, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About differential equation

Time Traveler for differential equation

Time Traveler

The first known use of differential equation was in 1704

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near differential equation

differential duties

differential equation

differential fertility

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for differential equation

Cite this Entry

“Differential equation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/differential%20equation. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on differential equation

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about differential equation


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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