particle

noun
par·​ti·​cle | \ ˈpär-ti-kəl How to pronounce particle (audio) \

Definition of particle

1a : a minute quantity or fragment
b : a relatively small or the smallest discrete portion or amount of something
2 archaic : a clause or article of a composition or document
3 : any of the basic units of matter and energy (such as a molecule, atom, proton, electron, or photon)
4 : a unit of speech expressing some general aspect of meaning or some connective or limiting relation and including the articles, most prepositions and conjunctions, and some interjections and adverbs the particle up has a perfective meaning in phrases such as beat up and cut up
5 : a small eucharistic wafer distributed to a Roman Catholic layman at Communion

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Examples of particle in a Sentence

There is not a particle of evidence to support their claim. There is not a particle of truth in what he said. The phrasal verb “look up” consists of the verb “look” and the adverbial particle “up.”
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Recent Examples on the Web Whenever theorists tried to model these intricate particle motions and interactions in computer simulations, the supernova’s shock wave would stall and fall back on itself. Quanta Magazine, "Secret Ingredient Found to Power Supernovas," 21 Jan. 2021 Supporters, including the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute, say industry already has made great strides in reducing particle emissions and more restrictive rules aren't needed. Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com, "Here are the Trump environmental rule changes that Biden might target," 17 Jan. 2021 Wildfire smoke accounted for up to half of all health-damaging small particle air pollution in the western U.S. in recent years as warming temperatures fueled more destructive blazes, according to a study released Monday. Matthew Brown, Anchorage Daily News, "Study: Wildfires produced up to half of health-damaging air pollution in Western states," 12 Jan. 2021 Wildfire smoke accounted for up to half of all health-damaging small particle air pollution in the western U.S. in recent years as warming temperatures fueled more destructive blazes, according to a study released Monday. Matthew Brown, Star Tribune, "Study: Wildfires produced up to half of pollution in US West," 11 Jan. 2021 Particle collisions also become important, forming larger particle clumps. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Like Titan, Pluto’s atmosphere is hazy, but for a different reason," 28 Dec. 2020 One experiment used a particle collider, and the other used a prepared chip maze. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "This Incredible Particle Only Arises in Two Dimensions," 18 Dec. 2020 But doing so for a system with more than a few tens of particle positions is beyond the reach of today’s conventional supercomputers. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "U.K. startup’s breakthrough could aid quantum computers in the hunt for exotic materials," 10 Dec. 2020 Wildfire smoke now accounts for up to half of all fine-particle pollution in the West. Los Angeles Times, "As Biden takes office, it’s a whole new era for writing about climate change," 21 Jan. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for particle

Middle English, from Latin particula, from diminutive of part-, pars

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Time Traveler for particle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for particle

Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Particle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/particle. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for particle

particle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of particle

: a very small piece of something
: a very small amount of something
physics : any one of the very small parts of matter (such as a molecule, atom, or electron)

particle

noun
par·​ti·​cle | \ ˈpär-ti-kəl How to pronounce particle (audio) \

Kids Definition of particle

: a very small bit or amount of something a particle of sand a particle of sense

particle

noun
par·​ti·​cle | \ ˈpärt-i-kəl How to pronounce particle (audio) \

Medical Definition of particle

1 : one of the minute subdivisions of matter (as an atom or molecule) also : elementary particle
2 : a minute quantity or fragment

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Comments on particle

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