early 15c., "one-sided, biased," from Old French parcial (14c., Modern French partial), from Medieval Latin partialis "divisible, solitary, partial," from Latin pars (genitive partis) "a part, piece, a share, a division" (from PIE root *pere-(2) "to grant, allot"). Sense of "not whole, incomplete" is attested from late 14c. Related: Partially (mid-15c. as "incompletely").
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