par·​tial | \ ˈpär-shəl How to pronounce partial (audio) \

Definition of partial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to a part rather than the whole : not general or total a partial solution a partial payment
2 : inclined to favor one party more than the other : biased it is inconsistent with justice to be partial— J. S. Mill
3 : markedly fond of someone or something used with topartial to pizzaShe's partial to tall men with blond hair.



Definition of partial (Entry 2 of 2)

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of partial in a Sentence

Adjective These plants prefer full sun or partial shade. The partial ban on immigration has been lifted. His latest play was deemed only a partial success by the critics. a partial eclipse of the sun He wears a partial denture. She suggested a partial solution to the problem. A referee must not be partial toward either team.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The following is a partial list of some key races for north and northwest greater Houston suburban communities. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "March 3 primary: Voters in northwest Houston suburbs have a lot to consider," 7 Feb. 2020 Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are close in the partial results that have been released, but Iowa Democrats aren’t sure that those results are right. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Democrats Demand a Recount," 7 Feb. 2020 Here’s a partial list of moves by airlines servicing Beijing and Shanghai, as of Jan. 30: Air Canada: Suspended direct flights from Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver to Beijing and Shanghai through February. Tripti Lahiri, Quartz, "China’s getting a lot more isolated from the world this week," 30 Jan. 2020 But when a partial roof collapse at another section of the strip mall led the city's Office of Construction Review to kick out all store owners on July 26, Sandman and his wife were left with nothing. Benjamin Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "'Not hearing anything': Stores at St. Matthews strip mall left in dark after roof collapse," 11 Sep. 2019 The Rangers will put 20-game partial season ticket plans on sale for the first time on Monday, Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. CT, the club announced Thursday. Dallas News, "Rangers to place 20-game ticket plans on sale," 30 Jan. 2020 Although virus samples can also be used to validate molecular diagnostic tests, most labs have moved away from using whole viruses in favour of synthetically producing parts of the virus from partial genomes, says Mackay. Nature Magazine, Scientific American, "Australian Lab First to Grow New Virus Outside China," 29 Jan. 2020 The decision is the latest in a series of partial successes for Huawei in the face of ever-increasing pressure from the US government to block the company from mobile networks around the world. Klint Finley, Wired, "UK Has a Plan to Corral Huawei. But Security Concerns Linger," 28 Jan. 2020 Upon his death, Ham the chimpanzee was eulogized, and his partial remains sent for burial at the International Space Hall of Fame, and at least two monuments have been constructed in memory of Laika the dog. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Félicette, the First Cat in Space, Finally Gets a Memorial," 28 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun We time-stretched the sound of the woodblock and zoomed into the partials and spectra of a single woodblock stroke — just a millisecond of sound — and opened it up and basically unfolded the whole piece from there. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Mouse on Mars at M.I.T.: A Symposium Becomes a Dance Party," 12 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'partial.' 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 partial


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1873, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for partial

Adjective and Noun

Middle English parcial, from Late Latin partialis, from Latin part-, pars part

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about partial

Time Traveler for partial

Time Traveler

The first known use of partial was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for partial

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Partial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for partial


How to pronounce partial (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of partial

: not complete or total
: tending to treat one person, group, or thing better than another


par·​tial | \ ˈpär-shəl How to pronounce partial (audio) \

Kids Definition of partial

1 : not complete a partial success a partial eclipse
2 : favoring one side of a question over another I'm too partial to be a fair judge.
3 : fond or too fond of someone or something Grandma is partial to ice cream sodas.

Other Words from partial

partially \ ˈpär-​shə-​lē \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on partial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for partial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with partial

Spanish Central: Translation of partial

Nglish: Translation of partial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of partial for Arabic Speakers

Comments on partial

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!