Hyper Dictionary

English Dictionary Computer Dictionary Video Dictionary Thesaurus Dream Dictionary Medical Dictionary

Search Dictionary:  


Pronunciation:  `difu'renshul

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  a bevel gear that permits rotation of two shafts at different speeds; used on the rear axle of automobiles to allow wheels to rotate at different speeds on curves
  2. [n]  a quality that differentiates between similar things
  3. [n]  the result of mathematical differentiation; the instantaneous change of one quantity relative to another; df(x)/dx
  4. [adj]  relating to or showing a difference; "differential treatment"
  5. [adj]  (mathematics) involving or containing one or more derivatives; "differential equation"

DIFFERENTIAL is a 12 letter word that starts with D.


 Synonyms: derivative, derived function, differential coefficient, differential gear, first derivative
 See Also: bevel gear, calculation, computation, curvature, difference, figuring, pinion and crown wheel, pinion and ring gear, reckoning



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Dif`fer*en"tial\, a. [Cf. F. diff['e]rentiel.]
    1. Relating to or indicating a difference; creating a
       difference; discriminating; special; as, differential
       characteristics; differential duties; a differential rate.
             For whom he produced differential favors. --Motley.
    2. (Math.) Of or pertaining to a differential, or to
    3. (Mech.) Relating to differences of motion or leverage;
       producing effects by such differences; said of mechanism.
    {Differential calculus}. (Math.) See under {Calculus}.
    {Differential coefficient}, the limit of the ratio of the
       increment of a function of a variable to the increment of
       the variable itself, when these increments are made
       indefinitely small.
    {Differential coupling}, a form of slip coupling used in
       light machinery to regulate at pleasure the velocity of
       the connected shaft.
    {Differential duties} (Polit. Econ.), duties which are not
       imposed equally upon the same products imported from
       different countries.
    {Differential galvanometer} (Elec.), a galvanometer having
       two coils or circuits, usually equal, through which
       currents passing in opposite directions are measured by
       the difference of their effect upon the needle.
    {Differential gearing}, a train of toothed wheels, usually an
       epicyclic train, so arranged as to constitute a
       {differential motion}.
    {Differential motion}, a mechanism in which a simple
       differential combination produces such a change of motion
       or force as would, with ordinary compound arrangements,
       require a considerable train of parts. It is used for
       overcoming great resistance or producing very slow or very
       rapid motion.
    {Differential pulley}. (Mach.)
       (a) A portable hoisting apparatus, the same in principle
           as the differential windlass.
       (b) A hoisting pulley to which power is applied through a
           differential gearing.
    {Differential screw}, a compound screw by which a motion is
       produced equal to the difference of the motions of the
       component screws.
    {Differential thermometer}, a thermometer usually with a
       U-shaped tube terminating in two air bulbs, and containing
       a colored liquid, used for indicating the difference
       between the temperatures to which the two bulbs are
       exposed, by the change of position of the colored fluid,
       in consequence of the different expansions of the air in
       the bulbs. A graduated scale is attached to one leg of the
    {Differential windlass}, or {Chinese windlass}, a windlass
       whose barrel has two parts of different diameters. The
       hoisting rope winds upon one part as it unwinds from the
       other, and a pulley sustaining the weight to be lifted
       hangs in the bight of the rope. It is an ancient example
       of a differential motion.
  2. \Dif`fer*en"tial\, n.
    1. (Math.) An increment, usually an indefinitely small one,
       which is given to a variable quantity.
    Note: According to the more modern writers upon the
          differential and integral calculus, if two or more
          quantities are dependent on each other, and subject to
          increments of value, their differentials need not be
          small, but are any quantities whose ratios to each
          other are the limits to which the ratios of the
          increments approximate, as these increments are reduced
          nearer and nearer to zero.
    2. A small difference in rates which competing railroad
       lines, in establishing a common tariff, allow one of their
       number to make, in order to get a fair share of the
       business. The lower rate is called a differential rate.
       Differentials are also sometimes granted to cities.
    3. (Elec.)
       (a) 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.
       (b) 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. --Knight.
    {Partial differential} (Math.), the differential of a
       function of two or more variables, when only one of the
       variables receives an increment.
    {Total differential} (Math.), the differential of a function
       of two or more variables, when each of the variables
       receives an increment. The total differential of the
       function is the sum of all the {partial differentials}.
Computing Dictionary

differential line.

Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: accurate, algorismic, algorithmic, aliquot, appreciative, aroma, attribute, automatic transmission, badge, brand, cachet, cardinal, cast, categorical, character, characteristic, characterizing, classificational, classificatory, cogwheel, configuration, contrastive, critical, cut, decimal, defining, delicacy, delicate, delicate distinction, denominative, diacritical, diagnostic, differencing, differentia, differential gear, differentiative, digital, discriminate, discriminating, discriminative, distinction, distinctive, distinctive feature, distinguishing, divisional, divisionary, earmark, even, exact, exponential, fastidious, feature, figural, figurate, figurative, figure, fine, fine point, finite, flavor, fractional, freewheel, gear, gear train, gearbox, gearing, gearshift, gearwheel, gust, hairline, hallmark, high, Hydromatic, idiocrasy, idiosyncrasy, idiosyncratic, imaginary, impair, impossible, impress, impression, index, individualism, individualizing, individuating, infinite, integral, intermediate, irrational, keynote, lineaments, logarithmic, logometric, low, mannerism, margin, mark, marking, mold, narrow margin, nature, negative, neutral, nice, nice distinction, nicety, nuance, numeral, numerary, numerative, numeric, odd, odor, ordinal, overdrive, pair, particle of difference, particular, particularity, peculiar, peculiarity, personalizing, point of difference, positive, possible, precise, prejudiced, prime, property, quality, quirk, rack, radical, rational, real, reciprocal, refined, refinement, reverse, savor, seal, selective, sensitive, separative, shade of difference, shape, singularity, smack, special, specialty, specific, stamp, standard transmission, stick shift, subdivisional, submultiple, subtle, subtle distinction, subtlety, surd, synchromesh, tactful, taint, tang, taste, taxonomic, token, trait, transcendental, transmission, trick, typal, typical, wide margin