par·​tial | \ˈpär-shəl \

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 to partial to pizzaShe's partial to tall men with blond hair.



Definition of partial (Entry 2 of 2)

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Examples of partial in a Sentence


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In addition, migraine auras can cause temporary, partial or full blindness, as well as muscle weakness. Tony Dajer, Discover Magazine, "Vertigo, Panic and Trouble Breathing: What's Going On Here?," 19 Oct. 2018 Here’s a partial list: Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, whose board of directors includes a key Saudi leader, Yasir Al-Rumaayan, and whose company accepted $3.5 billion from the country’s sovereign wealth fund in 2016. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "If Silicon Valley investors cared about Saudi human rights abuses, they’d do more than snub a conference," 12 Oct. 2018 Extra points for the subtle ruffles, the partial lining, and the seasonal plaid print. Tara Gonzalez, Glamour, "This Prairie Dress Got Me 40 Compliments in 4 Hours—and It’s on Sale for Under $50," 24 Sep. 2018 The first level includes an eat-in kitchen, family room with wood stove, and a partial basement. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Cozy historic cottage with beamed ceilings asks $344K," 20 Sep. 2018 That's often done via needle, but for those who are squeamish there's also the option of an insulin pump that functions as a partial or full artificial pancreas, Hirsch adds. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "What's the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?," 10 Sep. 2018 In turn, Congress and the public may only be able to see a partial Russia report. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Obscure case could determine whether Robert Mueller's Russia report sees light of day," 30 Aug. 2018 Paul was also very partial to fine clothing and became a clothier and top salesman for fine men's clothing stores. Hartford Courant,, "John-Paul Jenkins," 3 May 2018 Prices rose by more than 2.5% over that same period in states where one electricity provider enjoyed a full or partial monopoly. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Nevada’s Power Politics," 2 Nov. 2018

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.

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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


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


see partial entry 1

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Statistics for partial

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for partial

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

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More Definitions for partial



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 \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on partial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with partial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for partial

Spanish Central: Translation of partial

Nglish: Translation of partial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of partial for Arabic Speakers

Comments on partial

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to enclose within walls

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