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

Clouds are at the core of the water cycle, forming when warm air rises and cools, condensing around dust grains and other particles in the atmosphere, then releasing their heavy loads in the form of precipitation. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Are We Really in Danger of the Clouds Disappearing? The New Study Explained.," 27 Feb. 2019 Because particles in the Earth’s atmosphere scatter blue light, only the remaining red light will reach the moon when the Earth blocks the sun. Brianna Abbott, WSJ, "Sunday’s Total Lunar Eclipse Will Be a ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’," 17 Jan. 2019 The resulting theory, quantum mechanics, deals with particles and blips of energy in the realm of the ultra-small, divorced from our everyday experience, and all but invisible to our clumsy mammalian sensory apparatuses. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 Once in the Sun’s corona — a region that reaches more than 3 million degrees Fahrenheit — Parker will study the energetic particles in the region to solve the mysteries about this area of the Solar System. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Watch a spacecraft get blasted to the Sun tomorrow morning," 10 Aug. 2018 Monitors can capture air through a fan, then use a laser to count the number and size of particles in the air. Jason Plautz, WIRED, "Cheap, Portable Sensors Are Democratizing Air-Quality Data," 11 July 2018 Maybe some other new aspect of the universe is responsible for the unexpected pattern of particles in the experiment’s beam. Clara Moskowitz, Scientific American, "Evidence Builds for a New Kind of Neutrino," 7 June 2018 The notice acknowledges small glass particles in the spray could cause a couple of problems. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "A customer found small glass particles in this recalled children's hay fever nasal spray," 3 June 2018 The recall was announced after four consumers found metal particles in the product. Marie Simoneaux, NOLA.com, "Maker of Spam recalls canned pork, chicken products," 26 May 2018

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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Statistics for particle

Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for particle

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on particle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with particle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for particle

Spanish Central: Translation of particle

Nglish: Translation of particle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of particle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on particle

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grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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