particle

[pahr-ti-kuhl]
noun
1.
a minute portion, piece, fragment, or amount; a tiny or very small bit: a particle of dust; not a particle of supporting evidence.
2.
Physics.
a.
one of the extremely small constituents of matter, as an atom or nucleus.
b.
an elementary particle, quark, or gluon.
c.
a body in which the internal motion is negligible.
3.
a clause or article, as of a document.
4.
Grammar.
a.
(in some languages) one of the major form classes, or parts of speech, consisting of words that are neither nouns nor verbs, or of all uninflected words, or the like.
b.
such a word.
c.
a small word of functional or relational use, as an article, preposition, or conjunction, whether of a separate form class or not.
5.
Roman Catholic Church. a small piece of the Host given to each lay communicant in a Eucharistic service.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin particula. See part, -i-, -cle1

particled, adjective
interparticle, adjective


1. mite, whit, iota, jot, tittle, grain, speck.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
particle (ˈpɑːtɪkəl)
 
n
1.  an extremely small piece of matter; speck
2.  a very tiny amount; iota: it doesn't make a particle of difference
3.  a function word, esp (in certain languages) a word belonging to an uninflected class having suprasegmental or grammatical function: the Greek particles ``mēn'' and ``de'' are used to express contrast; questions in Japanese are indicated by the particle ``ka''; English ``up'' is sometimes regarded as an adverbial particle
4.  a common affix, such as re-, un-, or -ness
5.  physics a body with finite mass that can be treated as having negligible size, and internal structure
6.  See elementary particle
7.  RC Church a small piece broken off from the Host at Mass
8.  archaic a section or clause of a document
 
[C14: from Latin particula a small part, from parspart]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

particle
1380, "small part or division of a whole," from L. particula "little bit or part," dim. of pars (gen. partis), see part (n.). In construction, particle board (1957) is so called because it is made from chips and shavings of wood.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

particle par·ti·cle (pär'tĭ-kəl)
n.

  1. A very small piece or part.

  2. An elementary particle.

  3. A subatomic particle.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
particle   (pär'tĭ-kəl)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A very small piece of solid matter.

  2. An elementary particle, subatomic particle, or atomic nucleus. Also called corpuscle.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
But occasionally a neutrino reacts with an atom to create a particle called a
  muon.
If it is twisted in the opposite direction, the particle has the opposite
  charge.
As the principle goes, the act of measuring a tiny particle destroys it.
Place subatomic particles-pion or muons-on one side of the light cylinder, and
  a particle detector on the other side.
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