noun Etymology: Middle English, from Latin particula, from diminutive of part-, pars Date: 14th century 1. a. a minute quantity or fragment b. a relatively small or the smallest discrete portion or amount of something 2. archaic a clause or article of a composition or document 3. any of the basic units of matter and energy (as a molecule, atom, proton, electron, or photon) 4. a unit of speech expressing some general aspect of meaning or some connective or limiting relation and including the articles, most prepositions and conjunctions, and some interjections and adverbs <
the particle up has a perfective meaning in phrases such as beat up and cut up
5. a small eucharistic wafer distributed to a Roman Catholic layman at Communion

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • particle — 1 Particle, bit, mite, smidgen, whit, atom, iota, jot, tittle all mean a very small or insignificant piece or part. Particle is used in reference not only to substances which are actually divisible but to such things as a quality, a state, or a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Particle — may refer to:In chemistry: * Colloidal particle, part of a one phase system of two or more componentsIn physics: * Subatomic particle, which may be either: **Elementary particle, a particle of which larger particles are composed, also called a… …   Wikipedia

  • Particle — Par ti*cle, n. [L. particula, dim. of pars, gen partis, a part: cf. F. particule. See {Part}, and cf. {Parcel}.] 1. A minute part or portion of matter; a morsel; a little bit; an atom; a jot; as, a particle of sand, of wood, of dust. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • particle — [pärt′i kəl] n. [ME partycle < MFr particule < L particula, dim. of pars,PART1] 1. a) an extremely small piece; tiny fragment [a dust particle] b) the slightest trace; speck [not a particle of truth] 2 …   English World dictionary

  • particle — (n.) late 14c., small part or division of a whole, from L. particula little bit or part, dim. of pars (gen. partis); see PART (Cf. part) (n.). In construction, particle board (1957) is so called because it is made from chips and shavings of wood …   Etymology dictionary

  • particle — index constituent (part), element, iota, minimum, modicum, part (portion), scintilla …   Law dictionary

  • particle — [n] atom, piece bit, crumb, dot, dribble, drop, fleck, fragment, grain, hoot*, iota, jot, minim, mite, modicum, molecule, morsel, mote, ounce, ray, scrap, scruple, seed, shred, smidgen, smithereen, speck, spot, stitch, whit; concept 831 …   New thesaurus

  • particle — ► NOUN 1) a minute portion of matter. 2) Physics a component of the physical world smaller than an atom, e.g. an electron, proton, neutrino, or photon. 3) Grammar a minor function word that has comparatively little meaning and does not inflect, e …   English terms dictionary

  • particle — particled, adj. /pahr ti keuhl/, n. 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 …   Universalium

  • particle — [[t]pɑ͟ː(r)tɪk(ə)l[/t]] particles 1) N COUNT: oft N of n A particle of something is a very small piece or amount of it. ...a particle of hot metal... There is a particle of truth in his statement. particles. 2) N COUNT In physics, a… …   English dictionary

  • particle */*/ — UK [ˈpɑː(r)tɪk(ə)l] / US [ˈpɑrtɪk(ə)l] noun [countable] Word forms particle : singular particle plural particles 1) an extremely small piece or amount of something dust particles particle of: tiny particles of food There s not a particle of… …   English dictionary

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