/ˈpɑrtɪkəl/ • [pahr-ti-kuhl]
Definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary :
1. A small quantity of matter.
a. A minute fragment or quantity of matter; the smallest perceptible or discernible part of an aggregation or mass; (formerly often) an atom or molecule.
b. Christian Church. A piece of bread blessed as the antidoron in Greek Orthodox worship or consecrated as the host in the Roman Catholic Church and a number of eastern churches, esp. consecrated as the host in the Roman Catholic Church and a number of eastern churches, esp. those where communicants receive a piece of a larger loaf of bread rather than a separately made host.
2. Math. A hypothetical object that has mass concentrated at a point but no physical size.
3. Physics. Any of numerous constituents of the physical world that are smaller than an atomic nucleus, such as protons, electrons, neutrinos, and quarks.
Tracks of charged particles in a cloud chamber
II. General and abstract senses.
a. A small part, portion, or division of a whole. In early use also: a part or organ of the body (obs.) Now rare except as merging into sense
b. A very small part of a preposition, statement, or text; a clause or phrase; an article of a doctrinal statement. Now rare.
5. A small piece or plot of ground. Obs. (in later use Brit. regional).6. Grammar.a. Any of a set of words (sometimes treated as a minor part of speech and sometimes including affixes) that are typically short and indeclinable; a function word. Also: a prefix or suffix. b. The adverb or preposition used with, and in certain constructions separated from, the verb in a phrasal verb. 7. A very small or the smallest conceivable amount (of an immaterial thing). Usually in negative contexts.
The Urban Dictionary gave me a very different result:
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Pronounced “par ti cleez.” He was the Greek god of quality-looking cheap furniture and the spokesperson for Rooms To Go.
Speaker 1: “Hey, Chuck got a new case for his home entertainment center. I heard it’s pretty nice.”
Speaker 2: “No. I saw it, and it’s pretty cheesy. He’ll be praying to Particles the first time someone puts a cold cold drink down on the wood.”
A google image search yielded these results:
Particles in Physics:
(the video has no sound)