- being such in part only; not total or general; incomplete: partial blindness; a partial payment of a debt.
- biased or prejudiced in favor of a person, group, side, etc., over another, as in a controversy: a partial witness.
- pertaining to or affecting a part.
- being a part; component; constituent.
- Botany. secondary or subordinate: a partial umbel.
- Bridge. part-score.
- Acoustics, Music. partial tone.
- partial to, having a liking or preference for; particularly fond of: I’m partial to chocolate cake.
- relating to only a part; not general or completea partial eclipse
- biaseda partial judge
- (postpositive foll by to) having a particular liking (for)
- constituting part of a larger structurea partial umbel
- used for only part of the life cycle of a planta partial habitat
- (of a parasite) not exclusively parasitic
- maths designating or relating to an operation in which only one of a set of independent variables is considered at a time
- Also called: partial tone music acoustics any of the component tones of a single musical sound, including both those that belong to the harmonic series of the sound and those that do not
- maths a partial derivative
adj.early 15c., “one-sided, biased,” from Old French parcial (14c., Modern French partial), from Medieval Latin partialis “divisible, solitary, partial,” from Latin pars (genitive partis) “part” (see part (n.)). Sense of “not whole, incomplete” is attested from late 14c. Related: Partially (mid-15c. as “incompletely”).