particle (n.)

late 14c., "small part or division of a whole, minute portion of matter," from Latin particula "little bit or part, grain, jot," diminutive of pars (genitive partis) "a part, piece, division" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot"). Particle physics attested from 1969. In construction, particle board (1957) is so called because it is made from chips and shavings of wood.

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