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From granule +‎ -ar. Compare French granulaire.


granular (comparative more granular, superlative most granular)

  1. Consisting of, or resembling, granules or grains
    a granular substance
  2. grainy
    It has a granular structure
    • 1790, Abraham Mills, Some Strata in Ireland and Scotland, in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 80
      This Whyn Dyke is bare at the cliffs ſeveral yards in height, and is near nine feet in width. It conſiſts of an inner part of a granular and ſomewhat porous texture...

Usage notes[edit]

A common usage error is to treat the term "granular" as having a well-defined degree from fine to coarse, as in "more granular" or "less granular". Such usage is problematic for two reasons:

  • The essential characteristic of being granular is that something appears to be composed of small, discrete entities as opposed to being continuous or monolithic, and this is primarily a binary distinction, not a matter of degree.
  • The terms "more granular" and "less granular" are ambiguous: it is not clear whether they intend to indicate finer or coarser granularity. For example, granular sugar is called granular because it is composed of relatively large grains, in contrast with powdered sugar, whose grains are so small that they are not noticeable. Thus, in reference to sugar, "more granular" refers to coarser granularity.[1] Similarly, if a photograph is grainier or "more granular", it means that the grain particles are larger (coarser) and thus more distinctly visible.[2] On the other hand, "more granular" is sometimes used in exactly the opposite way: to indicate finer, more plentiful grains or divisions.[3]

This usage error can be avoided by referring specifically to finer or coarser granularity.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ Corriher, Shirley O.; "The Brownie Chronicles", published in "The Elements of Chocolate", 2007. Retrieved 6-jan-2009
  2. ^ Multimedia Commons Scanning; University of Southern California. Retrieved 6-Jan-2009
  3. ^ Foley, Mary Jo; "Microsoft to roll out more granular 'porn mode' with IE 8",, 25-Aug-2008. Retrieved 6-Jan-2009



granular m, f (plural granulares)

  1. granular


granular (first-person singular present granulo, first-person singular preterite granulé, past participle granulado)

  1. to granulate