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[gran-yuh-ler] /ˈgræn yə lər/
of the nature of granules; grainy.
composed of or bearing granules or grains.
showing a granulated structure.
highly detailed; having many small and distinct parts:
data analysis on a granular level.
Origin of granular
1785-95; granule + -ar1
Related forms
granularity, noun
granularly, adverb
multigranular, adjective
nongranular, adjective
subgranular, adjective
subgranularly, adverb
subgranularity, noun
ungranular, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for granularity
  • The new monitoring stations should allow such granularity.
  • With a three point system including corporatist you get this level of granularity.
  • Abstraction and granularity is mixed with intelligence.
  • These ontologies cover unrelated or overlapping domains, at different levels of detail and granularity.
  • Data locality, granularity, and task scheduling for load balancing are non-issues.
British Dictionary definitions for granularity


the state or quality of being grainy or granular
the state or quality of being composed of many individual pieces or elements


of, like, containing, or resembling a granule or granules
having a grainy or granulated surface
Derived Forms
granularly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for granularity



1794, from Late Latin granulum "granule," diminutive of Latin granum "grain, seed" (see corn (n.1)) + -ar. Replaced granulous (late 14c.). Related: Granularity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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granularity in Medicine

granular gran·u·lar (grān'yə-lər)

  1. Composed or appearing to be composed of granules or grains.

  2. Relating to or containing particles having a strong affinity for nuclear stains, as in certain bacteria.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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granularity in Technology

jargon, parallel
The size of the units of code under consideration in some context. The term generally refers to the level of detail at which code is considered, e.g. "You can specify the granularity for this profiling tool".
The most common computing use is in parallelism where "fine grain parallelism" means individual tasks are relatively small in terms of code size and execution time, "coarse grain" is the opposite. You talk about the "granularity" of the parallelism.
The smaller the granularity, the greater the potential for parallelism and hence speed-up but the greater the overheads of synchronisation and communication.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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