1. A portion, division, piece, or segment of a whole.
2. Any of several equal portions or fractions that can constitute a whole or into which a whole can be divided: a mixture of two parts flour to one part sugar.
3. A division of a book or artistic work such as a film: a novel in three parts.
a. An organ, member, or other division of an organism: A tail is not a part of a guinea pig.
b. parts The external genitals.
5. A component that can be separated from or attached to a system; a detachable piece: spare parts for cars.
6. often parts A region, area, land, or territory: "Minding your own business is second nature in these parts" (Boston).
a. A role: He has the main part in the play.
b. One's responsibility, duty, or obligation; share: We each do our part to keep the house clean.
c. parts Abilities or talents: a person of many parts.
a. The music or score for a particular instrument, as in an orchestra.
b. One of the melodic divisions or voices of a contrapuntal composition.
9. The line where the hair on the head is parted.
v. part·ed, part·ing, parts
a. To cause to move apart; put apart: parted the curtains.
b. To divide into two or more parts; split: The ship's prow parted the waves.
2. To break up the relationship or association of: A dispute over ownership parted the founders of the business. See Synonyms at separate.
3. To comb (hair, for example) away from a dividing line, as on the scalp.
4. To go away from; depart from: He parted this life for a better one.
5. Archaic To divide into shares or portions.
a. To be divided or separated: The curtain parted in the middle.
b. To move apart: Her lips parted, and she spoke.
a. To leave one another; take leave: They parted as friends.
b. To go away from another; depart: She parted from him at college graduation.
c. Archaic To die.
3. To separate or divide into ways going in different directions: The road parts about halfway into the forest.
4. To disagree or stop associating because of a disagreement: The committee parted over the issue of pay raises for employees.
Partially; in part: part yellow, part green.
Not full or complete; partial: a part owner of the business.
1. To give up or let go of; relinquish: I would not part with that book.
2. To go away from (another): You should not part with him in anger.
for (one's) part
So far as one is concerned.
for the most part
To the greater extent; generally or mostly.
in good part
Good-naturedly or with good grace; without taking offense: take a joke in good part.
To some extent; partly.
on the part of
Regarding or with respect to (the one specified): Brilliant strategy on the part of Confederate forces ensured their victory at Chancellorsville.
part and parcel
A basic or essential part: Working overtime is part and parcel of my job.
1. To leave one another's presence; go away or separate.
2. To disagree or stop associating because of a disagreement.
To join in; participate: She took part in the celebration.
take (someone's) part
To side with in a disagreement; support.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pars, part-; see perə-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.