- a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned: illegal bias against older job applicants; the magazine’s bias toward art rather than photography; our strong bias in favor of the idea.
- unreasonably hostile feelings or opinions about a social group; prejudice: accusations of racial bias.
- an oblique or diagonal line of direction, especially across a woven fabric.
- Statistics. a systematic as opposed to a random distortion of a statistic as a result of sampling procedure.
- Lawn Bowling.
- a slight bulge or greater weight on one side of the ball or bowl.
- the curved course made by such a ball when rolled.
- Electronics. the application of a steady voltage or current to an active device, as a diode or transistor, to produce a desired mode of operation.
- a high-frequency alternating current applied to the recording head of a tape recorder during recording in order to reduce distortion.
- cut, set, folded, etc., diagonally: This material requires a bias cut.
- in a diagonal manner; obliquely; slantingly: to cut material bias.
- to cause to hold or exhibit a particular bias; to influence, especially unfairly: a tearful plea designed to bias the jury; a survey biased toward highly educated people.
- Electronics. to apply a steady voltage or current to (the input of an active device).
- on the bias,
- in the diagonal direction of the cloth.
- out of line; slanting.
Origin of bias
SynonymsSee more synonyms for bias on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for biases
Koenig has not been a sterile, objective narrator; she has openly voiced her biases, concerns, and gut feelings all along.Adnan Killed Her! No, Jay Did It! Serial’s Uncertain, True-to-Reality End
December 18, 2014
Those who are by definition free of the biases that come with living near or working with those entrusted to protect us.Cops, CIA Share a Culture of Lawlessness
December 12, 2014
Each of us believes what we choose to believe, and facts have become bricks to shore up the fortress of our own biases.The Facts About Ferguson Matter, Dammit
December 3, 2014
At its worst, The Stranger merely recycles the biases, conventional wisdom, and cynical bitterness of inside-the-beltway habitués.Chuck Todd’s Lousy Obama Takedown
November 14, 2014
But it quickly becomes clear how their biases so blind them that they fail to ask far more critical questions.This Week’s Hot Reads: Dec. 24, 2013
Thomas Flynn, Charles Shafaieh
December 24, 2013
The biases are all right; the sleeves will want altering, Miss Scudder.The Minister's Wooing
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Pray look at the thing reasonably a moment, laying aside all biases of education and custom.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete
Albert Bigelow Paine
Biases that had held one another in check now, temporarily at least, reinforce one another, and constitute a unified attitude.Human Nature and Conduct
The biases which may operate upon him will not be so likely to extend to the representatives of the people in that body.A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents
James D. Richardson
Some things enter by way of the imagination, stimulated by emotional preferences and biases.Essays in Experimental Logic
- mental tendency or inclination, esp an irrational preference or prejudice
- a diagonal line or cut across the weave of a fabric
- electronics the voltage applied to an electronic device or system to establish suitable working conditions
- a bulge or weight inside one side of a bowl
- the curved course of such a bowl on the green
- an extraneous latent influence on, unrecognized conflated variable in, or selectivity in a sample which influences its distribution and so renders it unable to reflect the desired population parameters
- if T is an estimator of the parameter θ, the expected value of (T–θ)
- an inaudible high-frequency signal used to improve the quality of a tape recording
- slanting obliquely; diagonala bias fold
- obliquely; diagonally
- (usually passive) to cause to have a bias; prejudice; influence
Word Origin and History for biases
1520s, from French biais "slant, slope, oblique," also figuratively, "expedient, means" (13c., originally in Old French a past participle adjective, "sideways, askance, against the grain"), of unknown origin, probably from Old Provençal biais, with cognates in Old Catalan and Sardinian; possibly from Vulgar Latin *(e)bigassius, from Greek epikarsios "athwart, crosswise, at an angle," from epi- "upon" + karsios "oblique," from PIE *krs-yo-, from root *(s)ker- "to cut." It became a noun in Old French. "[A] technical term in the game of bowls, whence come all the later uses of the word" [OED]. Transferred sense of "predisposition, prejudice" is from 1570s in English.
For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should seem to be occupied with things mean and transitory; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless in short are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections colour and infect the understanding. [Francis Bacon, "Novum Organum," 1620]
1620s, literal and figurative, from bias (n.). Related: Biased; biasing.