# Definitions for **Differential**ˌdɪf əˈrɛn ʃəl

### This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word **Differential**

### Random House Webster's College Dictionary

dif•fer•en•tialˌdɪf əˈrɛn ʃəl(adj.)

of or pertaining to difference or diversity.

constituting a difference; distinguishing; distinctive.

exhibiting or depending upon a difference or distinction.

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

**Category:**Physicspertaining to or involving a mathematical derivative or derivatives.

**Category:**Math(n.)a difference or the amount of difference, as in rate, cost, degree, or quality, between things that are comparable.

**Category:**Machinery**Ref:**differential gear.Math. 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) any generalization of this function to higher dimensions.

dx.

**Category:**MathPhysics. the quantitative difference between two or more forces, motions, etc.:

a pressure differential.

**Category:**Physics

#### Origin of **differential**:

1640–50; < ML

dif`fer•en′tial•ly(adv.)

### Princeton's WordNet

derived function, derivative, differential coefficient, differential, first derivative(noun)

the result of mathematical differentiation; the instantaneous change of one quantity relative to another; df(x)/dx

differential(noun)

a quality that differentiates between similar things

differential gear, differential(adj)

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(adj)

relating to or showing a difference

"differential treatment"

differential(adj)

involving or containing one or more derivatives

"differential equation"

### Wiktionary

differential(Noun)

the differential gear in an automobile etc

differential(Noun)

a qualitative or quantitative difference between similar or comparable things

differential(Noun)

an infinitesimal change in a variable, or the result of differentiation

differential(Adjective)

of, or relating to a difference

differential(Adjective)

dependent on, or making a difference; distinctive

differential(Adjective)

having differences in speed or direction of motion

differential(Adjective)

of, or relating to differentiation, or the differential calculus

### Webster Dictionary

Differential(adj)

relating to or indicating a difference; creating a difference; discriminating; special; as, differential characteristics; differential duties; a differential rate

Differential(adj)

of or pertaining to a differential, or to differentials

Differential(adj)

relating to differences of motion or leverage; producing effects by such differences; said of mechanism

Differential(noun)

an increment, usually an indefinitely small one, which is given to a variable quantity

Differential(noun)

a small difference in rates which competing railroad lines, in establishing a common tariff, allow one of their number to make, in order to get a fair share of the business. The lower rate is called a differential rate. Differentials are also sometimes granted to cities

Differential(noun)

one of two coils of conducting wire so related to one another or to a magnet or armature common to both, that one coil produces polar action contrary to that of the other

Differential(noun)

a form of conductor used for dividing and distributing the current to a series of electric lamps so as to maintain equal action in all

### Freebase

Differential

A differential is a device, usually, but not necessarily, employing gears, which is connected to the outside world by three shafts, chains, or similar, through which it transmits torque and rotation. The gears or other components make the three shafts rotate in such a way that, where, and are the angular velocities of the three shafts, and and are constants. Often, but not always, and are equal, so is proportional to the sum of and . Except in some special-purpose differentials, there are no other limitations on the rotational speeds of the shafts, apart from the usual mechanical/engineering limits. Any of the shafts can be used to input rotation, and the other to output it. See animation of a simple differential in which and are equal. The shaft rotating at speed is at the bottom-right of the image. In automobiles and other wheeled vehicles, a differential is the usual way to allow the driving roadwheels to rotate at different speeds. This is necessary when the vehicle turns, making the wheel that is travelling around the outside of the turning curve roll farther and faster than the other. The engine is connected to the shaft rotating at angular velocity . The driving wheels are connected to the other two shafts, and and are equal. If the engine is running at a constant speed, the rotational speed of each driving wheel can vary, but the sum of the two wheels' speeds can not change. An increase in the speed of one wheel must be balanced by an equal decrease in the speed of the other.

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