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particle

[pahr-ti-kuh l] /ˈpɑr tɪ kəl/
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.
  1. one of the extremely small constituents of matter, as an atom or nucleus.
  2. an elementary particle, quark, or gluon.
  3. a body in which the internal motion is negligible.
3.
a clause or article, as of a document.
4.
Grammar.
  1. (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.
  2. such a word.
  3. 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
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin particula. See part, -i-, -cle1
Related forms
particled, adjective
interparticle, adjective
Synonyms
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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Examples from the web for particle
  • 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.
  • It's both an exciting and angst-producing time to be a high-energy particle physicist.
  • At times, the art of pitching a baseball can seem as arcane as particle physics.
  • He points out that particle physics is an experimental science.
  • And for anyone with a particle of ambition, there is little choice.
  • Or it could be a particle that goes beyond the standard model altogether.
  • Sadly the first half is a dull and, in places, inadequate history of particle physics.
British Dictionary definitions for particle

particle

/ˈpɑːtɪkəl/
noun
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
7.
(RC Church) a small piece broken off from the Host at Mass
8.
(archaic) a section or clause of a document
Word Origin
C14: from Latin particula a small part, from parspart
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 particle
n.

late 14c., "small part or division of a whole, minute portion of matter," from Latin particula "little bit or part, grain, jot," diminutive of pars (genitive partis) "part;" see part (n.). Particle physics attested from 1969. 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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particle in Medicine

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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particle in Science
particle
  (pär'tĭ-kəl)   
  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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