differential meaning

Pronunciation:   "differential" in a sentence
Noun: differential  `difu'renshul
  1. The result of mathematical differentiation; the instantaneous change of one quantity relative to another; df(x)/dx
    - derived function, derivative, differential coefficient, first derivative 
  2. A quality that differentiates between similar things 
  3. A bevel gear that permits rotation of two shafts at different speeds; used on the rear axle of automobiles to allow wheels to rotate at different speeds on curves
    - differential gear
Adjective: differential  `difu'renshul
  1. Relating to or showing a difference
    "differential treatment" 
  2. Involving or containing one or more derivatives
    "differential equation"

Derived forms: differentials

See also: difference, differentially, differentiation

Type of: bevel gear, calculation, computation, difference, figuring, pinion and crown wheel, pinion and ring gear, reckoning

Encyclopedia: Differential

[American slang]
n. the buttocks; the rear (end).
• I got a little ache in the differential.
• You're walking like there's something wrong with your differential.

noun, adjective

noun [C]


a difference in the amount, value or size of sth, especially the difference in rates of pay for people doing different work in the same industry or profession:

They found that the differential between men's and women's pay has narrowed slightly.

the interest rate differential between the US and the eurozone

a differential in prices

❖ to create/increase/narrow/reduce/widen a differential

income/pay differentials

interest rate/price differentials

adjective [only before noun]

that treats different people or things differently; not equal:

The tax is unfair in its differential effect on large and small businesses.

Unions are objecting to differential pay levels for similar skills.

Their policy of differential pricing (= supplying the same product to different markets at different prices) means poorer countries can also afford the medicines.

The rate of change of a variable over time, where time is treated as a continuous variable. The rate of change of y, dy/dt, is frequently denoted by a dot over the y; d2 y/dt2 is represented by two dots over the y, or ÿ, and so on.

1. A device, consisting of a gear system, that adds or subtracts angular motions and delivers the result.
2. A gear system in which the motion of a shaft is transferred to two other shafts aligned with each other and perpendicular to the first shaft.
3. One of two coils arranged to produce opposite polarities at a point in a circuit.
4. Pertaining to a difference between two signals or quantities.


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  1. that would upset the wage differential.
  2. these quantities are not perfect differential.
  3. this is called a normal system of differential equations.
  4. a linear differential transformer has three coils.
  5. they do not go ahead when the differential is smashed.

Related Words

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  2. differentation markers meaning
  3. differentia meaning
  4. differentiability meaning
  5. differentiable meaning
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