constituting a difference; distinguishing; distinctive: a differential feature.

exhibiting or depending upon a difference or distinction.

Physics, Machinery. pertaining to or involving the difference of two or more motions, forces, etc.

Mathematics. pertaining to or involving a derivative or derivatives.

noun

a difference or the amount of difference, as in rate, cost, quantity, degree, or quality, between things that are comparable.

Also called differential gear. Machinery. an epicyclic train of gears designed to permit two or more shafts to rotate at different speeds, as a set of gears in an automobile permitting the rear wheels to be driven at different speeds when the car is turning.

Mathematics.

a function of two variables that is obtained from a given function, y = f(x), and that expresses the approximate increment in the given function as the derivative of the function times the increment in the independent variable, written as dy = f′(x)dx.

any generalization of this function to higher dimensions.

mathsof, containing, or involving one or more derivatives or differentials

physicsengineeringrelating to, operating on, or based on the difference between two effects, motions, forces, etcdifferential amplifier

noun

a factor that differentiates between two comparable things

maths

an increment in a given function, expressed as the product of the derivative of that function and the corresponding increment in the independent variable

an increment in a given function of two or more variables, f(x1, x2, … x n), expressed as the sum of the products of each partial derivative and the increment in the corresponding variable

an epicyclic gear train that permits two shafts to rotate at different speeds while being driven by a third shaftSee also differential gear

mainlyBritishthe difference between rates of pay for different types of labour, esp when forming a pay structure within an industry

(in commerce) a difference in rates, esp between comparable labour services or transportation routes