Meaning of “differential” in the English Dictionary

"differential" in English

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differentialnoun [ C ]

uk /ˌdɪf.əˈren.ʃəl/ us /ˌdɪf.əˈren.ʃəl/


uk /ˌdɪf.əˈren.ʃəl/ us /ˌdɪf.əˈren.ʃəl/
adverb uk /ˌdɪf.əˈren.ʃəl.i/ us /ˌdɪf.əˈren.ʃəl.i/

(Definition of “differential” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"differential" in American English

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differentialnoun [ C ]

us /ˌdɪf·əˈren·ʃəl/

the difference between two amounts:

There’s anywhere from a $1000 to $2400 price differential between the vehicles.
adjective us /ˌdɪf·əˈren·ʃəl/

The contract includes a 35-cent per hour increase in night shift differential pay.

(Definition of “differential” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"differential" in Business English

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differentialnoun [ C ]

uk /ˌdɪfəˈrenʃəl/ us

HR a difference in pay between different industries or between groups of employees within an organization:

a pay/wage/salary differential
maintain/reduce/justify a differential In order to maintain differentials we propose a 3% increase for all pay grades.

ECONOMICS, COMMERCE a difference in an amount, for example, a difference in price between the same product sold in different areas:

a price/cost differential The company is free to maintain the price differential between a low price market such as the USA and a high price market such as the UK.
When the interest rate differential between the euro and other currencies changes, foreign exchange dealers react.

STOCK MARKET an extra charge added to the price of shares when they are sold in a quantity that is less than the usual quantity:

The differential for odd lots (fewer than 100 shares) is added to the price for the purchaser.


uk us

treating different groups of people or things differently:

The WTO recognizes the need for differential treatment for developing countries.
adverb /ˌdɪfəˈrenʃəli/

Differentially priced pharmaceuticals are priced at a lower rate for developing countries.

(Definition of “differential” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)