# differential

of or relating to difference or diversity.

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.

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.

Commerce.

the difference involved in a differential rate.

differential rate.

Physics. the quantitative difference between two or more forces, motions, etc.: a pressure differential.

## Origin of differential

^{1}

## Other words from differential

- dif·fer·en·tial·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

## How to use differential in a sentence

It’s no wonder that FiveThirtyEight’s NFL model projects Indianapolis to finish this season with the sixth-best scoring

*differential*in the NFL — and gives the team a 62 percent chance to win the AFC South.The Indianapolis Colts Finally Built A Defensive Monster | Ty Schalter | November 19, 2020 | FiveThirtyEightThe first Bourbaki text was meant to be about

*differential*geometry, which reflected the tastes of some of the group’s early members, luminaries like Henri Cartan and André Weil.Inside the Secret Math Society Known Simply as Nicolas Bourbaki | Kevin Hartnett | November 9, 2020 | Quanta MagazineFor the Bears and Browns, point

*differential*offers evidence that their performances so far haven’t been as good as they seem.Steelers stay unbeaten, Chargers drop another heartbreaker in NFL Week 9 | Cindy Boren, Mark Maske, Des Bieler | November 9, 2020 | Washington PostWithout the added benefit of those, Cleveland’s point

*differential*, and record, would be much worse.The Bills, Bears and Browns aren’t as good as their records | Neil Greenberg | November 6, 2020 | Washington PostUnless you’re a physicist or an engineer, there really isn’t much reason for you to know about partial

*differential*equations.AI has cracked a key mathematical puzzle for understanding our world | Karen Hao | October 30, 2020 | MIT Technology Review

They combine the fixing with the staining process, and stain differentially every normal and abnormal structure in the blood.

A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell ToddThey act as though they were not connected differentially, so far as voice currents are concerned.

Cyclopedia of Telephony and Telegraphy, Vol. 2 | Kempster MillerAnd even the suf- fragist does not suggest that the taxes which are levied on women are differentially applied to the uses of men.

The Unexpurgated Case Against Women Suffrage | Almroth E. WrightThe comparison of red and blue light was made differentially.

Here a Mackerel chap sniffed differentially, and says he: "But you was trying to die in war, capting."

The Orpheus C. Kerr Papers. Series 2 | Robert H. Newell

## British Dictionary definitions for differential

/ (ˌdɪfəˈrɛnʃəl) /

of, relating to, or using a difference

constituting a difference; distinguishing

maths of, containing, or involving one or more derivatives or differentials

physics engineering relating to, operating on, or based on the difference between two effects, motions, forces, etc: differential amplifier

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(x 1, x 2, … 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 shaft: See also differential gear

mainly British the 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

## Derived forms of differential

- differentially, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

## Scientific definitions for differential

[ dĭf′ə-rĕn′shəl ]

An infinitesimal increment in a variable.

The product of the derivative of a function of one variable and the increment of the independent variable.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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