Meaning of DIFFERENTIAL in English


— differentially , adv.

/dif'euh ren"sheuhl/ , adj.

1. of or pertaining to difference or diversity.

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

3. exhibiting or depending upon a difference or distinction.

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

5. Math. pertaining to or involving a derivative or derivatives.


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

7. Also called differential gear . Mach. 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.

8. Math.

a. 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.

b. any generalization of this function to higher dimensions.

9. Com.

a. the difference involved in a differential rate.

b. See differential rate .

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

[ 1640-50; differentialis, equiv. to differenti ( a ) DIFFERENCE + alis -AL ]

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .