Etymology
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particle (n.)

late 14c., "a bit or fragment, 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"). In grammar, "a part of speech considered of minor consequence or playing a subordinate part in the construction of a sentence" (1530s). Particle physics, which is concerned with sub-atomic particles, is 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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Definitions of particle

particle (n.)
(nontechnical usage) a tiny piece of anything;
Synonyms: atom / molecule / corpuscle / mote / speck
particle (n.)
a body having finite mass and internal structure but negligible dimensions;
Synonyms: subatomic particle
particle (n.)
a function word that can be used in English to form phrasal verbs;
From wordnet.princeton.edu