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Definition

Differential

Differential is a system of gears that allows the outside driven wheel to rotate faster than the inside driven wheel when turning a corner. Conventional “open” differentials direct engine power to the wheel with the least traction, which can be a problem on slippery surfaces. To combat this, some vehicles are equipped with “limited-slip” differentials that ensure some power is always delivered to both driven wheels.

Webster Dictionary Meaning

1. Differential
- Relating to or indicating a difference; creating a difference; discriminating; special; as, differential characteristics; differential duties; a differential rate.
- Of or pertaining to a differential, or to differentials.
- Relating to differences of motion or leverage; producing effects by such differences; said of mechanism.
2. Differential
- An increment, usually an indefinitely small one, which is given to a variable quantity.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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