- a mode of separating a positive whole number into a sum of positive whole numbers.
- the decomposition of a set into disjoint subsets whose union is the original set: A partition of the set (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) is the collection of subsets (1), (2, 3), (4), and (5).
verb (used with object)
- partition chromatography,
- partition coefficient,
- partition line,
Origin of partition
- the division of a class into a number of disjoint and exhaustive subclasses
- such a set of subclasses
Word Origin for partition
1741, from partition (n.). Related: Partitioned; partitioning.
early 15c., "division into shares, distinction," from Old French particion (12c.), from Latin partitionem (nominative partitio) "a sharing, division, partition, distribution; method of dividing," from past participle stem of partire "to part" (see part (v.)). Sense of "that which separates" first recorded late 15c.