Nearby words

  1. parsons table,
  2. parsons, talcott,
  3. parsons, theophilus,
  4. parsons, william,
  5. parsva,
  6. part and parcel,
  7. part company,
  8. part exchange,
  9. part music,
  10. part of fortune


Origin of part

before 1000; (noun) Middle English (< Old French < L), Old English < Latin part- (stem of pars) piece, portion; (v.) Middle English parten < Old French partir < Latin partīre, derivative of pars

1. component, ingredient, division, sector. Part, piece, portion, segment, section, fraction, fragment refer to something that is less than the whole. Part is the general word: part of a house. A piece suggests a part which is itself a complete unit or it may mean an irregular fragment: a piece of pie; a piece of a broken vase. A portion is a part allotted or assigned to a person, purpose, etc.: a portion of food. A segment is often a part into which something separates naturally: a segment of an orange. Section suggests a relatively substantial, clearly separate part that fits closely with other parts to form a whole: a section of a fishing rod, a book. Fraction suggests a less substantial but still clearly delimited part, often separate from other parts: a fraction of his former income. Fragment suggests a broken, inconsequential, incomplete part, with irregular or imprecise outlines or boundaries: a fragment of broken pottery, of information. 6. apportionment, lot. 13. responsibility. 18. sever, sunder, dissociate, disconnect, disjoin, detach.

Related formsmul·ti·part, adjectivesub·part, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for for the most part



a piece or portion of a whole
an integral constituent of somethingdancing is part of what we teach
  1. an amount less than the whole; bitthey only recovered part of the money
  2. (as modifier)an old car in part exchange for a new one
one of several equal or nearly equal divisionsmix two parts flour to one part water
  1. an actor's role in a play
  2. the speech and actions which make up such a role
  3. a written copy of these
a person's proper role or dutyeveryone must do his part
(often plural) region; areayou're well known in these parts
anatomy any portion of a larger structure
a component that can be replaced in a machine, engine, etcspare parts
US, Canadian and Australian the line of scalp showing when sections of hair are combed in opposite directionsBritish equivalent: parting
  1. one of a number of separate melodic lines making up the texture of music
  2. one of such melodic lines, which is assigned to one or more instrumentalists or singersthe viola part; the soprano solo part
  3. such a line performed from a separately written or printed copySee part song
for the most part generally
for one's part as far as one is concerned
in part to some degree; partly
of many parts having many different abilities
on the part of on behalf of
part and parcel an essential ingredient
play a part
  1. to pretend to be what one is not
  2. (foll by in)to have something to do (with); be instrumental (in)to play a part in the king's downfall
take in good part to respond to (teasing) with good humour
take part in to participate in
take someone's part to support someone in an argument


to divide or separate from one another; take or come apartto part the curtains; the seams parted when I washed the dress
to go away or cause to go away from one another; stop or cause to stop seeing each otherthe couple parted amicably
(intr foll by from) to leave; say goodbye (to)
(intr foll by with) to relinquish, esp reluctantlyI couldn't part with my teddy bear
(tr foll by from) to cause to relinquish, esp reluctantlyhe's not easily parted from his cash
(intr) to split; separatethe path parts here
(tr) to arrange (the hair) in such a way that a line of scalp is left showing
(intr) a euphemism for die 1 (def. 1)
(intr) archaic to depart
part company
  1. to end a friendship or association, esp as a result of a quarrel; separatethey were in partnership, but parted company last year
  2. (foll by with)to leave; go away from; be separated from


to some extent; partly
See also parts

Word Origin for part

C13: via Old French from Latin partīre to divide, from pars a part

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

Word Origin and History for for the most part
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for for the most part




A portion, division, piece, or segment of a whole.
Any of several equal portions or fractions that can constitute a whole or into which a whole can be divided.
An organ, member, or other division of an organism.
An anatomical part; pars.
parts The external genitalia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with for the most part

for the most part

In general, usually. For example, For the most part she is very good-humored, or The committee members agree for the most part. [Late 1300s] Also see the synonyms by and large; on the whole.


In addition to the idioms beginning with part

  • part and parcel
  • part company
  • parting of the ways
  • parting shot
  • part with
  • party line

also see:

  • best part of
  • better half (part of)
  • discretion is the better part of valor
  • do one's bit (part)
  • fool and his money are soon parted
  • for one's part
  • for the most part
  • in good part
  • in part
  • take part
  • take someone's part
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.