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

Ready Player One ☆☆ 1/2 Rated: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, partial nudity and language. Katie Walsh, idahostatesman, "‘Ready Player One’ can’t be a winner without stakes | Idaho Statesman," 29 Mar. 2018 Major political players began talks soon after the election’s partial results were announced last week. Qassim Abdul-zahra,, "Sadr says next Iraq government will be ‘inclusive’," 20 May 2018 Two other blocs that partial results indicate came in second and third — Hadi al-Ameri’s Fatah and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Nasr — appear to have won 45 and 39 seats, respectively. Margaret Coker, New York Times, "Iraqi Election Front-Runner Moktada al-Sadr Courts Partners to Govern," 15 May 2018 The full list of the nations represented by the visitors was not immediately available, but here's a partial list: Bangladesh, Botswana, El Salvador, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Mozambique, Thailand, Tuvalu, Uganda. Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, "When 30 foreign ambassadors arrive in Indy next week, here's what they'll see," 4 May 2018 Other researchers went on to prove a few partial results in the decades that followed, but no one was able to change these bounds. Evelyn Lamb, WIRED, "An Anti-Aging Pundit Solves a Decades-Old Math Problem," 30 Apr. 2018 His nearest challenger, Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin, got around 13 percent, according to partial results, while nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky got around 6 percent. Anchorage Daily News, "Putin wins another six years at Russia’s helm in landslide victory," 18 Mar. 2018 According to the partial results, the League captured around 18 percent of the vote, while Forza Italia had less than 14 percent. Francis D'emilio And Colleen Barry,, "Euroskeptic parties surge in Italy election, but no majority," 5 Mar. 2018 The show is rated PG-13 for strong language, adult content and partial nudity. Randall G. Mielke, Aurora Beacon-News, "'Cabaret' gains new relevance in current political times," 25 Jan. 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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Phrases Related to partial

partial to

Statistics for partial

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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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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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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