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  • IPA(key): [dɪfəˈɹənʃəɫ]
  • (file)


differential (comparative more differential, superlative most differential)

  1. of, or relating to a difference
    differential characteristics
    • 1856, John Lothrop Motley, The Rise of the Dutch Republic: A History, Volume 1:
      [Caspar Schetz, Baron of Grobbendonck] was regularly in the pay of Sir Thomas Gresham, to whom he produced differential favours, and by whose government he was rewarded by gold chains and presents of hard cash, bestowed as secretly as the equivalent was conveyed adroitly.
  2. dependent on, or making a difference; distinctive
  3. having differences in speed or direction of motion
  4. (mathematics) of, or relating to differentiation, or the differential calculus



differential (plural differentials)

  1. the differential gear in an automobile etc
  2. a qualitative or quantitative difference between similar or comparable things
  3. (mathematics) an infinitesimal change in a variable, or the result of differentiation
  4. One of two coils of conducting wire so related to one another or to a magnet or armature common to both, that one coil produces polar action contrary to that of the other.
  5. A form of conductor used for dividing and distributing the current to a series of electric lamps so as to maintain equal action in all.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)

Derived terms[edit]


Related terms[edit]



differential c

  1. (mechanics) a differential gear
  2. (mathematics) an infinitesimal change
  3. (mathematics) the differential operator


Declension of differential 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative differential differentialen differentialer differentialerna
Genitive differentials differentialens differentialers differentialernas