Definition of particle
1a : a minute quantity or fragmentb : 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
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.”
Recent Examples of particle from the Web
Use a wire brush immediately after cooking to remove excess oil and food particles.
When these oppositely charged particles within the cloud attract, cloud-to-cloud lightning occurs.
A job at a computer-research unit run by his alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley, erased his aspirations to work in particle physics.
Now Pan wants to try even more ambitious experiments: sending quantum particles from the ground to the satellite; setting up a distribution channel that will allow for transmission of tens of thousands of entangled pairs per second.
A particle exists in a fuzzy state of uncertainty…but only until it is observed.
On a busy day, for example, nearly 20,000 tourists can stream through the Sistine Chapel, according to The New York Times, trekking dirt particles and humid air with them, slowly degrading the paint on the ceiling’s artwork.
The pollutants measured by the EPA are: ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
A Red Moon takes place during a lunar eclipse and can also materialize when the moon is low in the sky or when the air is filled with a large amount of particles, reports Universe Today.
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.
Origin and Etymology of particle
Middle English, from Latin particula, from diminutive of part-, pars
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
PARTICLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of particle for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of particle for Students
: a very small bit or amount of something a particle of sand a particle of sense
Word Root of particle
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
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