Definition of partial in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɑːʃ(ə)l/


1Existing only in part; incomplete: a question to which we have only partial answers
More example sentences
  • The project essentially entailed a partial renewal of the existing line with some shortcut additions.
  • Quantitative measurement is necessarily, by its very nature, partial and incomplete.
  • I have a vague sense that dramaturgs may be a partial answer to the director capture problem, but I don't know enough about theatre to say.
incomplete, limited, qualified, restricted, imperfect, fragmentary, unfinished
2Favouring one side in a dispute above the other; biased: the paper gave a distorted and very partial view of the situation
More example sentences
  • It's about separating yourself and your ideas from everyone else's partial biases.
  • How can those who articulate the green case possibly be comfortable with such a curiously unbalanced mix of myths and beliefs, such a partial view of the world?
  • I'm not an expert and I can't say for sure, but I think the UN weapons inspectors took a partial view of biological warfare.
biased, prejudiced, partisan, one-sided, slanted, skewed, coloured, interested, parti pris, discriminatory, preferential, jaundiced;
unjust, unfair, inequitable, unbalanced
3 (partial to) Having a liking for: you know I’m very partial to bacon and eggs
More example sentences
  • I could afford the best wine by then, and I'd had become very partial to bacon every morning.
  • The wife of a colleague was known to be partial to bacon and banana.
  • Certainly, that touring party was more than partial to a peculiarly Kiwi version of bacon and egg pie.
like, love, enjoy, have a liking for, be fond of, be keen on, have a fondness for, have a weakness for, have a soft spot for, have a taste for, be taken with, care for, have a predilection/proclivity/penchant for, be enamoured of
informal adore, be mad about/on, have a thing about, be crazy about, be potty about, be nutty about
North American informal cotton to, be nutso over/about
Australian/New Zealand informal be shook on


A component of a musical sound; an overtone or harmonic: strings would like to oscillate as closely as possible to harmonic partials
More example sentences
  • At once the problem arises that the human voice is composed of many tones: the fundamental tone and a series of other tones called upper harmonics or partials.
  • One unusual aspect of this music is that the rich upper partials of the voices bring out the simple harmonies of the hymns in a way not normally heard.
  • In stringed instruments, additional strings of wire that vibrate in sympathy with a unison note or one of its partials, bowed or plucked on the main strings, adding a shimmer to the sound.





Late Middle English (in sense 2 of the adjective): from Old French parcial (sense 2 of the adjective), French partiel (sense 1 of the adjective), from late Latin partialis, from pars, part- 'part'.

Words that rhyme with partial

court-martial, impartial, marshal, martial

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: par|tial

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