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[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.

a clause or article, as of a document.

Roman Catholic Church. a small piece of the Host given to each lay communicant in a Eucharistic service.
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
See elementary particle
(RC Church) a small piece broken off from the Host at Mass
(archaic) a section or clause of a document

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.

particle par·ti·cle (pär’tĭ-kəl)



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