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4 definitions found
 for Differential
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  differential \dif`fer*en"tial\, a. [Cf. F. diff['e]rentiel.]
     1. Relating to or indicating a difference; creating a
        difference; discriminating; special; as, differential
        characteristics; differential duties; a differential rate.
        [1913 Webster]
              For whom he produced differential favors. --Motley.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. (Math.) Of or pertaining to a differential, or to
        [1913 Webster]
     3. (Mech.) Relating to differences of motion or leverage;
        producing effects by such differences; said of mechanism.
        [1913 Webster]
     Differential calculus. (Math.) See under Calculus.
     Differential coefficient, the limit of the ratio of the
        increment of a function of a variable to the increment of
        the variable itself, when these increments are made
        indefinitely small.
     Differential coupling, a form of slip coupling used in
        light machinery to regulate at pleasure the velocity of
        the connected shaft.
     Differential duties (Polit. Econ.), duties which are not
        imposed equally upon the same products imported from
        different countries.
     Differential galvanometer (Elec.), a galvanometer having
        two coils or circuits, usually equal, through which
        currents passing in opposite directions are measured by
        the difference of their effect upon the needle.
     Differential gearing, a train of toothed wheels, usually an
        epicyclic train, so arranged as to constitute a
        differential motion.
     Differential motion, a mechanism in which a simple
        differential combination produces such a change of motion
        or force as would, with ordinary compound arrangements,
        require a considerable train of parts. It is used for
        overcoming great resistance or producing very slow or very
        rapid motion.
     Differential pulley. (Mach.)
        (a) A portable hoisting apparatus, the same in principle
            as the differential windlass.
        (b) A hoisting pulley to which power is applied through a
            differential gearing.
     Differential screw, a compound screw by which a motion is
        produced equal to the difference of the motions of the
        component screws.
     Differential thermometer, a thermometer usually with a
        U-shaped tube terminating in two air bulbs, and containing
        a colored liquid, used for indicating the difference
        between the temperatures to which the two bulbs are
        exposed, by the change of position of the colored fluid,
        in consequence of the different expansions of the air in
        the bulbs. A graduated scale is attached to one leg of the
     Differential windlass, or Chinese windlass, a windlass
        whose barrel has two parts of different diameters. The
        hoisting rope winds upon one part as it unwinds from the
        other, and a pulley sustaining the weight to be lifted
        hangs in the bight of the rope. It is an ancient example
        of a differential motion.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Differential \Dif`fer*en"tial\, n.
     1. (Math.) An increment, usually an indefinitely small one,
        which is given to a variable quantity.
        [1913 Webster]
     Note: According to the more modern writers upon the
           differential and integral calculus, if two or more
           quantities are dependent on each other, and subject to
           increments of value, their differentials need not be
           small, but are any quantities whose ratios to each
           other are the limits to which the ratios of the
           increments approximate, as these increments are reduced
           nearer and nearer to zero.
           [1913 Webster]
     2. A small difference in rates which competing railroad
        lines, in establishing a common tariff, allow one of their
        number to make, in order to get a fair share of the
        business. The lower rate is called a differential rate.
        Differentials are also sometimes granted to cities.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. (Elec.)
        (a) One of two coils of conducting wire so related to one
            another or to a magnet or armature common to both,
            that one coil produces polar action contrary to that
            of the other.
        (b) A form of conductor used for dividing and distributing
            the current to a series of electric lamps so as to
            maintain equal action in all. --Knight.
            [1913 Webster]
     Partial differential (Math.), the differential of a
        function of two or more variables, when only one of the
        variables receives an increment.
     Total differential (Math.), the differential of a function
        of two or more variables, when each of the variables
        receives an increment. The total differential of the
        function is the sum of all the partial differentials.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      adj 1: relating to or showing a difference; "differential
      2: involving or containing one or more derivatives;
         "differential equation"
      n 1: the result of mathematical differentiation; the
           instantaneous change of one quantity relative to another;
           df(x)/dx [syn: derived function, derivative,
           differential coefficient, differential, first
      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, differential]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  174 Moby Thesaurus words for "differential":
     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

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