AskDefine | Define differential

Dictionary Definition

differential adj
1 relating to or showing a difference; "differential treatment"
2 involving or containing one or more derivatives; "differential equation"


1 the result of mathematical differentiation; the instantaneous change of one quantity relative to another; df(x)/dx [syn: 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 [syn: differential gear]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. of, or relating to a difference
  2. dependent on, or making a difference; distinctive
  3. having differences in speed or direction of motion
  4. of, or relating to differentiation, or the differential calculus


relating to a difference
dependent on
having differences in speed
relating to differentiation or differential calculus


  1. the differential gear in an automobile etc
  2. a qualitative or quantitative difference between similar or comparable things
  3. an infinitesimal change in a variable, or the result of differentiation


differential gear
difference between similar or comparable things
infitesimal change



  1. In the context of "mechanics|lang=sv": a differential gear
  2. In the context of "math|lang=sv}} an infinitesimal change

Extensive Definition

Differential may refer to:


  • Differential diagnosis refers to the characterization of the underlying cause of pathological states based on specific tests.


  • Differential (calculus), multiple related meanings in calculus and differential geometry, such as an infinitesimal change in the value of a function

Natural sciences and engineering

Social sciences

Other uses

The word differential is also used in many fields as an adjective to refer to differences, particularly those of a variable or continuous nature. Examples include differential hardening in metallurgy, differential rotation in astronomy, differential centrifugation in cell biology, differential scanning calorimetry in materials science, differential signalling in communications, differential algebra in mathematics, differential execution in computer science, and differential GPS technology.
differential in Bosnian: Diferencijal (čvor)
differential in Bulgarian: Диференциал (пояснение)
differential in Czech: Diferenciál
differential in German: Differential
differential in Dutch: Differentieel
differential in Russian: Дифференциал
differential in Slovak: Diferenciál
differential in Turkish: Diferansiyel (anlam ayrım)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Hydromatic, accurate, algorismic, algorithmic, aliquot, appreciative, aroma, attribute, automatic transmission, badge, brand, cachet, cardinal, cast, categorical, character, characteristic, characterizing, classificational, classificatory, cogwheel, configuration, contrastive, critical, cut, decimal, defining, delicacy, delicate, delicate distinction, denominative, diacritical, diagnostic, differencing, differentia, differential gear, differentiative, digital, discriminate, discriminating, discriminative, distinction, distinctive, distinctive feature, distinguishing, divisional, divisionary, earmark, even, exact, exponential, fastidious, feature, figural, figurate, figurative, figure, fine, fine point, finite, flavor, fractional, freewheel, gear, gear train, gearbox, gearing, gearshift, gearwheel, gust, hairline, hallmark, high, idiocrasy, idiosyncrasy, idiosyncratic, imaginary, impair, impossible, impress, impression, index, individualism, individualizing, individuating, infinite, integral, intermediate, irrational, keynote, lineaments, logarithmic, logometric, low, mannerism, margin, mark, marking, mold, narrow margin, nature, negative, neutral, nice, nice distinction, nicety, nuance, numeral, numerary, numerative, numeric, odd, odor, ordinal, overdrive, pair, particle of difference, particular, particularity, peculiar, peculiarity, personalizing, point of difference, positive, possible, precise, prejudiced, prime, property, quality, quirk, rack, radical, rational, real, reciprocal, refined, refinement, reverse, savor, seal, selective, sensitive, separative, shade of difference, shape, singularity, smack, special, specialty, specific, stamp, standard transmission, stick shift, subdivisional, submultiple, subtle, subtle distinction, subtlety, surd, synchromesh, tactful, taint, tang, taste, taxonomic, token, trait, transcendental, transmission, trick, typal, typical, wide margin
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1