- a portion or division of a whole that is separate or distinct; piece, fragment, fraction, or section; constituent: the rear part of the house; to glue the two parts together.
- an essential or integral attribute or quality: a sense of humor is part of a healthy personality.
- a section or division of a literary work.
- a portion, member, or organ of an animal body.
- any of a number of more or less equal quantities that compose a whole or into which a whole is divided: Use two parts sugar to one part cocoa.
- an allotted portion; share.
- Usually parts.
- a region, quarter, or district: a journey to foreign parts.
- a quality or attribute establishing the possessor as a person of importance or superior worth: Being both a diplomat and a successful businesswoman, she is widely regarded as a woman of parts.
- either of the opposing sides in a contest, question, agreement, etc.
- the dividing line formed in separating the hair of the head and combing it in different directions.
- a constituent piece of a machine or tool either included at the time of manufacture or set in place as a replacement for the original piece.
- the written or printed matter extracted from the score that a single performer or section uses in the performance of concerted music: a horn part.
- a section or division of a composition: the allegro part of the first movement.
- participation, interest, or concern in something; role: The neighbors must have had some part in planning the surprise party.
- a person’s share in or contribution to some action; duty, function, or office: You must do your part if we’re to finish by tonight.
- a character or role acted in a play or sustained in real life.
verb (used with object)
- to divide (a thing) into parts; break; cleave; divide.
- to comb (the hair) away from a dividing line.
- to divide into shares; distribute in parts; apportion.
- to put or keep apart; separate: They parted the calves from the herd.
- to separate (silver) from gold in refining.
- to cut (one part) away from a piece, as an end from a billet.
- to keep the surface of (a casting) separate from the sand of the mold.
- Obsolete. to leave.
verb (used without object)
- to be or become divided into parts; break or cleave: The oil tanker parted amidships.
- to go or come apart; separate, as two or more things.
- to go apart from or leave one another, as persons: We’ll part no more.
- to be or become separated from something else (usually followed by from).
- Nautical. to break or become torn apart, as a cable.
- to depart.
- to die.
- partial; of a part: part owner.
- in part; partly: part black.
- part with, to give up (property, control, etc.); relinquish: to part with one’s money.
- for one’s part, as far as concerns one: For my part, you can do whatever you please.
- for the most part, with respect to the greatest part; on the whole; generally; usually; mostly: They are good students, for the most part.
- in good part,
- without offense; in a good-natured manner; amiably: She was able to take teasing in good part.
- to a great extent; largely: His success is in good part ascribable to dogged determination.
- in part, in some measure or degree; to some extent; partly; partially: The crop failure was due in part to unusual weather conditions.
- on the part of,
- so far as pertains to or concerns one: He expressed appreciation on the part of himself and his colleagues.
- as done or manifested by: attention on the part of the audience.
Also on one’s part.
- part and parcel, an essential, necessary, or integral part: Her love for her child was part and parcel of her life.
- part company,
- to bid farewell or go separate ways; leave one another.
- to dissolve a personal affiliation, relationship, etc., especially because of irreconcilable differences.
- to disagree.
- take part, to participate; share or partake: They refused to take part in any of the activities of the community.
- take someone’s part, to align oneself with; support; defend: His parents took his part, even though he was obviously in the wrong.
- a piece or portion of a whole
- an integral constituent of somethingdancing is part of what we teach
- an amount less than the whole; bitthey only recovered part of the money
- (as modifier)an old car in part exchange for a new one
- one of several equal or nearly equal divisionsmix two parts flour to one part water
- an actor’s role in a play
- the speech and actions which make up such a role
- a written copy of these
- a person’s proper role or dutyeveryone must do his part
- (often plural) region; areayou’re well known in these parts
- anatomy any portion of a larger structure
- a component that can be replaced in a machine, engine, etcspare parts
- US, Canadian and Australian the line of scalp showing when sections of hair are combed in opposite directionsBritish equivalent: parting
- one of a number of separate melodic lines making up the texture of music
- one of such melodic lines, which is assigned to one or more instrumentalists or singersthe viola part; the soprano solo part
- such a line performed from a separately written or printed copySee part song
- for the most part generally
- for one’s part as far as one is concerned
- in part to some degree; partly
- of many parts having many different abilities
- on the part of on behalf of
- part and parcel an essential ingredient
- play a part
- to pretend to be what one is not
- (foll by in)to have something to do (with); be instrumental (in)to play a part in the king’s downfall
- take in good part to respond to (teasing) with good humour
- take part in to participate in
- take someone’s part to support someone in an argument
- to divide or separate from one another; take or come apartto part the curtains; the seams parted when I washed the dress
- to go away or cause to go away from one another; stop or cause to stop seeing each otherthe couple parted amicably
- (intr foll by from) to leave; say goodbye (to)
- (intr foll by with) to relinquish, esp reluctantlyI couldn’t part with my teddy bear
- (tr foll by from) to cause to relinquish, esp reluctantlyhe’s not easily parted from his cash
- (intr) to split; separatethe path parts here
- (tr) to arrange (the hair) in such a way that a line of scalp is left showing
- (intr) a euphemism for die 1 (def. 1)
- (intr) archaic to depart
- part company
- to end a friendship or association, esp as a result of a quarrel; separatethey were in partnership, but parted company last year
- (foll by with)to leave; go away from; be separated from
- to some extent; partly
mid-13c., “division, portion of a whole,” from Old French part “share, portion; character; power, dominion; side, way, path,” from Latin partem (nominative pars) “a part, piece, a share, a division; a party or faction; a part of the body; a fraction; a function, office,” related to portio “share, portion,” from PIE root *pere- “to assign, allot” (cf. Greek peprotai “it has been granted,” Sanskrit purtam “reward,” Hittite parshiya- “fraction, part”).
It has replaced native deal (n.) in most senses. Theatrical sense (late 15c.) is from an actor’s “share” in a performance (The Latin plural partis was used in the same sense). Meaning “the parting of the hair” is 1890, American English.
As an adjective from 1590s. Late Old English part “part of speech” did not survive and the modern word is considered a separate borrowing. Phrase for the most part is from late 14c. To take part “participate” is from late 14c.
c.1200, “to divide into parts; separate oneself,” from Old French partir “to divide, separate” (10c.), from Latin partire, partere “to share, part, distribute, divide,” from pars (see part (n.)).
Sense of “to separate (someone from someone else)” is from early 14c.; that of “to take leave” is from early 15c. Meaning “to separate the hair” is attested from 1610s. Related: Parted; parting. To part with “surrender” is from c.1300.
- A portion, division, piece, or segment of a whole.
- Any of several equal portions or fractions that can constitute a whole or into which a whole can be divided.
- An organ, member, or other division of an organism.
- An anatomical part; pars.
- parts The external genitalia.
Also, in large or small part. To some extent, not wholly, somewhat. For example, We didn’t get to Chicago, in part because we didn’t have time, or Jerry was the one to blame, in large part because he was the one who hired the contractor, or The attorney himself was in small part responsible for this witness. [Late 1300s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with part
- part and parcel
- part company
- parting of the ways
- parting shot
- part with
- party line
- best part of
- better half (part of)
- discretion is the better part of valor
- do one’s bit (part)
- fool and his money are soon parted
- for one’s part
- for the most part
- in good part
- in part
- take part
- take someone’s part