What does Differential mean?

Definitions for Differentialˌdɪf əˈrɛn ʃəl

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Differential.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. 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

  2. differential(noun)

    a quality that differentiates between similar things

  3. 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

  4. differential(adj)

    relating to or showing a difference

    "differential treatment"

  5. differential(adj)

    involving or containing one or more derivatives

    "differential equation"


  1. differential(Noun)

    the differential gear in an automobile etc

  2. differential(Noun)

    a qualitative or quantitative difference between similar or comparable things

  3. differential(Noun)

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

  4. differential(Adjective)

    of, or relating to a difference

  5. differential(Adjective)

    dependent on, or making a difference; distinctive

  6. differential(Adjective)

    having differences in speed or direction of motion

  7. differential(Adjective)

    of, or relating to differentiation, or the differential calculus

Webster Dictionary

  1. Differential(adj)

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

  2. Differential(adj)

    of or pertaining to a differential, or to differentials

  3. Differential(adj)

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

  4. Differential(noun)

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Origin: [Cf. F. diffrentiel.]


  1. 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.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Differential in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Differential in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Alan Turing:

    Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition.

  2. Richard Dawkins:

    This is the law that all life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities.

  3. Chuck Jones:

    We haven't given up the fight yet, but Carrier has pretty well indicated that the wage differential is too great and there's not much we can do.

  4. Mishi Choudhary:

    We are delighted by the regulator's recognition of the irreversible damage that stands to be done to the open Internet by allowing differential pricing.

  5. Mikhail Liluashvili:

    There will be more inflows into the Eastern European bond market to exploit the interest rate differential between the euro area and the Eastern European economies.

Images & Illustrations of Differential

  1. DifferentialDifferentialDifferential

Translations for Differential

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • диференциален, диференциал, разграничителен, отличителенBulgarian
  • diferenciálníCzech
  • διαφορικό, διαφορικός, διάφοροςGreek
  • diferencialSpanish
  • ero, differentiaaliFinnish
  • différentielFrench
  • דיפרנציאלHebrew
  • differenciálHungarian
  • różniczka, różniczkowy, różnicowyPolish
  • дифференциа́льный, дифференциа́лRussian
  • differens, differentialSwedish
  • diferansiyelTurkish
  • 微分Chinese

Get even more translations for Differential »


Find a translation for the Differential definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these Differential definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"Differential." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 18 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Differential>.

Are we missing a good definition for Differential? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for Differential:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.