1

partial

adjective par·tial \ ˈpär-shəl \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of partial

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 pizza
  • She's partial to tall men with blond hair.

Examples of partial in a Sentence

  1. These plants prefer full sun or partial shade.

  2. The partial ban on immigration has been lifted.

  3. His latest play was deemed only a partial success by the critics.

  4. a partial eclipse of the sun

  5. He wears a partial denture.

  6. She suggested a partial solution to the problem.

  7. A referee must not be partial toward either team.

Recent Examples of partial from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of partial

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


2

partial

noun

Definition of partial

:overtone 1a

Origin and Etymology of partial



PARTIAL Defined for English Language Learners

partial

adjective

Definition of partial for English Language Learners

  • : not complete or total

  • : tending to treat one person, group, or thing better than another


PARTIAL Defined for Kids

partial

adjective par·tial \ ˈpär-shəl \

Definition of partial for Students

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.

partially

\ˈpär-shə-lē\ adverb

Word Root of partial

The Latin word pars, meaning “part,” and its form partis give us the root part. Words from the Latin pars have something to do with a part, section, or portion. To participate is to take part in some activity. Anything partial involves only part of something. A particle is a tiny bit or portion of something. It is easy to see that part itself also comes directly from pars in both form and meaning.



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by intense feeling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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