Definitions of differential

  1. the result of mathematical differentiation; the instantaneous change of one quantity relative to another; df( x)/ dx
  2. 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
  3. a quality that differentiates between similar things
  4. An increment, usually an indefinitely small one, which is given to a variable quantity.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. An infinitesimal difference between two values of a quantity; a decrease of rates, charged by a railroad: differential calculus, a branch of higher mathematics.
  8. An infinitesimal difference between two values of a quantity.
  9. An infinitely small difference between two states of a variable quantity.
  10. The infinitely small variation of a quantity; in commerce, creating a difference; special, as differential duties; in mech., differing in amount, or in the producing force; intended to produce or indicate difference of motion or effect.
  11. involving or containing one or more derivatives; " differential equation"
  12. Relating to or indicating a difference; creating a difference; discriminating; special; as, differential characteristics; differential duties; a differential rate.
  13. Relating to differences of motion or leverage; producing effects by such differences; said of mechanism.
  14. 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.
  15. Indicating unlikeness; having inequality; as, a differential gear on a motor car which allows one rear wheel to turn faster than the other; pertaining to, or involving, an infinitesimal difference.
  16. Creating a difference: ( math.) pertaining to a quantity or difference infinitely small.
  17. Creating or pertaining to difference.
  18. Denoting or making a difference; distinctive.
  19. Tending to distinguish; special; creating a difference, as differential duties; pertaining to an infinitely small quantity, so small as to be less than any assignable quantity; pertaining to differentials. Differential calculus, the method of finding the ratios of the differences of variable magnitudes on the supposition that these differences become Infinitely small. Differential co- efficient, the ratio of the differential of any function of a variable quantity to the differential of the variable. Differential thermometer, a thermometer for measuring minute differences of temperature. Differential gear, a combination of toothed wheels by which a differential motion is produced. Differential screw, a compound screw by which a differential motion is produced.
  20. Relating to or indicating difference; pert. to an infinitely small variable quantity or difference, which is called a differential quantity.