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a. constituting part of a larger structure
b. used for only part of the life cycle of a plant
c. (of a parasite) not exclusively parasitic
2. Maths designating or relating to an operation in which only one of a set of independent variables is considered at a time
3. Music Acoustics any of the component tones of a single musical sound, including both those that belong to the harmonic series of the sound and those that do not
4. Maths a partial derivative
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
Also known as partial tone.
A simple sinusoidal physical component of a complex tone.
A sound sensation component that is distinguishable as a simple tone, cannot be further analyzed by the ear, and contributes to the character of the complex sound; the frequency of a partial may be higher or lower than the basic frequency and may be an integral multiple or submultiple of the basic frequency.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.