An example of a particle is a speck of dust.
- an extremely small piece; tiny fragment: a dust particle
- the slightest trace; speck: not a particle of truth
- Archaic a clause or article in a document
- a short, usually uninflected and invariable part of speech used to express a syntactic or semantic relationship, as an article or any of certain prepositions, conjunctions, or interjections
- a prefix or derivational suffix
- Physics elementary particle
- R.C.Ch. a small piece of the consecrated Host or any of the small Hosts given to lay communicants
Origin of particleMiddle English partycle ; from Middle French particule ; from Classical Latin particula, diminutive of pars, part
- A very small piece or part; a tiny portion or speck.
- A very small or the smallest possible amount, trace, or degree: not a particle of doubt.
- Physics a. A body whose spatial extent and internal motion and structure, if any, are irrelevant in a specific problem.b. An elementary particle.c. A subatomic particle.
- Linguistics a. An uninflected item that has grammatical function but does not clearly belong to one of the major parts of speech, such as up in He looked up the word or to in English infinitives.b. In some systems of grammatical analysis, any of various short function words, including articles, prepositions, and conjunctions.
- Ecclesiastical A portion or fragment of the Eucharistic host.
- Archaic A small part of something written, such as a clause of a document.
Origin of particleMiddle English, from Latin particula, diminutive of pars, part-, part; see part.
- A very small piece of matter, a fragment; especially, the smallest possible part of something. [from 14th c.]
- (linguistics) A word that has a particular grammatical function but does not obviously belong to any particular part of speech, such as the word to in English infinitives or O as the vocative particle. [from 16th c.]
- (physics) Any of various physical objects making up the constituent parts of an atom; an elementary particle or subatomic particle. [from 19th c.]