What does differential mean?

Definitions for differential
ˌdɪf əˈrɛn ʃəldif·fer·en·tial

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. derived function, derivative, differential coefficient, differential, first derivativenoun

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

  2. differentialnoun

    a quality that differentiates between similar things

  3. differential gear, differentialadjective

    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. differentialadjective

    relating to or showing a difference

    "differential treatment"

  5. differentialadjective

    involving or containing one or more derivatives

    "differential equation"


  1. differentialnoun

    the differential gear in an automobile etc

  2. differentialnoun

    a qualitative or quantitative difference between similar or comparable things

  3. differentialnoun

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

  4. differentialadjective

    of, or relating to a difference

  5. differentialadjective

    dependent on, or making a difference; distinctive

  6. differentialadjective

    having differences in speed or direction of motion

  7. differentialadjective

    of, or relating to differentiation, or the differential calculus

Webster Dictionary

  1. Differentialadjective

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

    Etymology: [Cf. F. diffrentiel.]

  2. Differentialadjective

    of or pertaining to a differential, or to differentials

    Etymology: [Cf. F. diffrentiel.]

  3. Differentialadjective

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

    Etymology: [Cf. F. diffrentiel.]

  4. Differentialnoun

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

    Etymology: [Cf. F. diffrentiel.]

  5. Differentialnoun

    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

    Etymology: [Cf. F. diffrentiel.]

  6. Differentialnoun

    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

    Etymology: [Cf. F. diffrentiel.]

  7. Differentialnoun

    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

    Etymology: [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.

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How to pronounce differential?

How to say differential in sign language?


  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

Examples of differential in a Sentence

  1. Howard H. Aiken:

    If it should turn out that the basic logics of a machine designed for the numerical solution of differential equations coincide with the logics of a machine intended to make bills for a department store, I would regard this as the most amazing coincidence I have ever encountered.

  2. Fraser Lundie:

    We are at multi-year wides in terms of the yield differential between US( high yield bonds) and Europe, that's driving some of the initial flow back into high yield.

  3. 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.

  4. Naveed Sattar:

    This means the former pattern of occasional napping is intentional and the latter of more regular napping likely represents sub-clinical illness linked to poorer lifestyle. This would then explain the differential risks, i don't think one can work out from this work whether.

  5. Laurent Frings:

    Senior holding company debt is still difficult for banks to issue, the differential between opco and holdco senior is around 50bp right now but that number can be quite volatile. We saw it with Credit Suisse when they had to pull a deal - you need the right window and sentiment to get these trades done.

Images & Illustrations of differential

  1. differentialdifferentialdifferentialdifferentialdifferential

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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

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    standing above others in quality or position
    • A. eminent
    • B. tacky
    • C. epidemic
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