Is it ensure, insure, or assure?


[pahr-ti-kuh l] /ˈpɑr tɪ kəl/
a minute portion, piece, fragment, or amount; a tiny or very small bit:
a particle of dust; not a particle of supporting evidence.
  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.
a clause or article, as of a document.
  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.
Roman Catholic Church. a small piece of the Host given to each lay communicant in a Eucharistic service.
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin particula. See part, -i-, -cle1
Related forms
particled, adjective
interparticle, adjective
1. mite, whit, iota, jot, tittle, grain, speck. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for particles
  • These attract the calcite particles, which build up on the membrane in crisp, geometric columns until they make a shell.
  • Inside, an air quality system filters particles down to one micron.
  • Too little flow could be caused by a kink in the line or particles clogging the emitters.
  • Seeking solutions from the tiniest of particles for the world's big problems through nanotechnology.
  • Ugh, tile counters for those who enjoy scrubbing food particles out of little crevices.
  • Even if it appears to be in mint condition, the surface may still have some fine particles on it.
  • Your planet is being buffeted by solar wind-particles of protons and electrons that the sun spews into space.
  • Place subatomic particles-pion or muons-on one side of the light cylinder, and a particle detector on the other side.
  • The cloudy, red parts in the image are tiny particles of dust illuminated by the star.
  • He guessed that the original limestone had clay particles on it and, when they metamorphosed, the clay particles turned into mica.
British Dictionary definitions for particles


an extremely small piece of matter; speck
a very tiny amount; iota: it doesn't make a particle of difference
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
a common affix, such as re-, un-, or -ness
(physics) a body with finite mass that can be treated as having negligible size, and internal structure
(RC Church) a small piece broken off from the Host at Mass
(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for particles



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
Cite This Source
particles in Medicine

particle par·ti·cle (pär'tĭ-kəl)

  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.
Cite This Source
particles in Science
  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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for particle

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for particles

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with particles

Nearby words for particles