Definition of bias in English:


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  • 1Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

    ‘there was evidence of bias against foreign applicants’
    • ‘the bias toward younger people in recruitment’
    • ‘a systematic bias in favor of the powerful’
    • ‘Has there been prejudice and bias against the applicant by both the judge at first instance and by the majority of the Full Court?’
    • ‘Publication bias in favour of aspirin also exists.’
    • ‘In an article for today's paper, the government's transport adviser firmly rejects claims of an unfair bias in favour of London and the south-east.’
    • ‘The Government's race watchdog is investigating apparent racial bias against its own ethnic minority staff.’
    • ‘Also, publication bias against studies that failed to show an effect might have limited our ability to identify features associated with ineffective systems.’
    • ‘The vast majority of Senators I have served with do not have any bias or ethnic bias against people.’
    • ‘He did this with good policies, hard work and persistence and in spite of media bias in favour of his opponent.’
    • ‘The case was dealt with by case workers outside the county so that there could be no inference of bias in favour of one party.’
    • ‘Thus, if a large country finds that the partnership with a small country is of value from an overall point of view, the large country will be willing to accept a certain power bias in favour of the small country.’
    • ‘Counsel for the applicant suggests that the Crown's behaviour fell short of that standard, and that it indicated bias in favour of the accused police officer.’
    • ‘Apart from its bias in favour of upstream states, it has little support in state practice and does not seem to represent international law.’
    • ‘However, his own bias in favour of doctrinal studies hindered acceptance of his theories, and he died at too young an age to have had much impact.’
    • ‘There should be no bias in favour of the money-earner and against the home-maker and the child-carer.’
    • ‘Her supporters said she was unfairly singled out because of her celebrity and because of bias against female executives.’
    • ‘This follows from the charges of, for example, bias in favour of panel members' departments and inconsistency across subject areas.’
    • ‘I noted the officer's testimonial enthusiasm as an indication of bias in favour of the prosecution but do not find that his evidence should not be believed.’
    • ‘But I find it hard to believe accusations of bias against him.’
    • ‘There is a strong cultural bias against non-fiction.’
    • ‘Their intended purpose is to attest to the integrity of the identification parade and also to remove the possibility of any bias against the suspect.’
    • ‘I do not live in either town, so have no personal bias in favour of moving traffic from one to another, either from a business or residential point of view.’
    prejudice, partiality, partisanship, favouritism, unfairness, one-sidedness
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    1. 1.1in singular A concentration on or interest in one particular area or subject.
      ‘he worked on a variety of Greek topics, with a discernible bias toward philosophy’
      • ‘He is interested in the human bias towards particular scientific ideas, not on the scale of a particular concrete example as in our pictures above, but within an entire area of science.’
      • ‘The downturn in the technology sector has been unkind to those with a strong bias towards this area.’
      • ‘There is a discernible bias to topics popular with the current generation of French and Russian mathematicians, who form the bulk of the authors.’
      • ‘The subject coverage is comprehensive, but with a strong bias towards the arts.’
      • ‘This role is predominantly office based working within a team and has an strong bias towards industrial computing.’
    2. 1.2(in South Korean entertainment, especially K-pop) a person's favorite pop star, pop group, actor, etc., or favorite member of a pop group.
      • ‘I'm a fan of Blackpink and my bias is Jennie’
  • 2Statistics
    A systematic distortion of a statistical result due to a factor not allowed for in its derivation.

    ‘Furthermore, the statistical bias varies with the filling factor.’
    • ‘Consideration of potential confounders, measures to prevent bias, and appropriate statistical analysis were mostly lacking.’
    • ‘We prefer a random partition that produces a point estimate with less bias than would result from a deterministic partition.’
    • ‘The minimisation of bias, the systematic deviation of results or inferences from truth, is a fundamental principle of medical research.’
    • ‘This suggests the existence of statistical bias in one or both of the partitions.’
  • 3A direction diagonal to the weave of a fabric.

    • ‘a turquoise silk dress cut on the bias’
    diagonal, cross, slant, oblique, angle
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  • 4In some sports, such as lawn bowling, the irregular shape given to a ball.

    ‘This model bowl has the Traditional bias which has stood the test of time wherever Lawn Bowls is played.’
    • ‘The bowls are not quite round. They are shaved on one side which gives them the bias.’
    • ‘Very easy to hold and with a predictable line it is a match for any modern bias bowl.’
    • ‘The same year that the shaping machine was invented - 1871 - the Company introduced the world's first testing table for bias of bowls.’
    • ‘All bowls should have a bias that is not less than that of a Working Reference Bowl and should be imprinted with the registered World Bowls Stamp.’
    1. 4.1The oblique course taken by a ball as a result of its irregular shape.
      ‘Bowling indoors is a completely different experience from outdoors and requires different characteristics in the bowls used, the artificial surface being very much faster and more prone to bias.’
      • ‘Heavy weight and Medium weight bowls run with the same bias.’
      • ‘Increased amounts of bias will reduce the maximum attainable speed. The top speed with maximum bias is approximately 55 mph!’
      • ‘Early tests conducted on a billiard table soon dispelled the ideas that bias is a myth in croquet. The noticeable 'draw' (lateral motion) on the fine green baize prompted a more careful examination with a view to ultimately testing on grass.’
      • ‘At any rate, the shape of these stones is such that when delivered with a normal bowling action, they take bias; that is, they take a curved path, particularly when the initial speed begins to slow down.’
  • 5Electronics
    A steady voltage, magnetic field, or other factor applied to an electronic system or device to cause it to operate over a predetermined range.

    ‘Semiconductor amplifying circuit having improved bias circuit for supplying a bias voltage to an amplifying FET’
    • ‘At higher T, it takes less time for thermal fluctuations to induce rupture under an applied bias force.’
    • ‘The experimental data suggest the opposite: increasing the applied voltage bias usually increases the duration of the current blockades.’
    • ‘So far we have demonstrated examples of channel asymmetry that was induced by the sign of the applied voltage bias.’
    • ‘Upon application of a voltage greater than the threshold bias of 2 to 3 V, a current flows.’



/ˈbīəs/ /ˈbaɪəs/

transitive verbtransitive verb biases, transitive verb biasing, transitive verb biased

[with object]
  • 1Cause to feel or show inclination or prejudice for or against someone or something.

    ‘the search results are biased by the specific queries used’
    • ‘common sense biases me against these theories’
    • ‘The estimated coefficients may be biased by sampling errors.’
    • ‘The report is biased by the opinion of the author.’
    • ‘I think that has biased me against her as a person.’
    • ‘My own experiences of having to raise my brother after my parents' divorce biased me against wanting to go through something like that again.’
    • ‘The report is fair, honest, and not biased by any company affiliation.’
    • ‘The actions of a relatively small number of respondents might easily have biased the results observed.’
    • ‘The parties and candidates who favour the interests of those who are not rich do not get donations - this biases the political system in favour of the rich.’
    • ‘Critics of the statements argue that they unfairly bias the judge at the conclusion of the trial.’
    • ‘This situation, called self-selection, would bias the statistical results, unless it is corrected.’
    • ‘Comparison of urban and rural incomes has neglected the rental value of rural housing, and this biases the comparison in favour of the towns.’
    prejudice, influence, colour, sway, weight, predispose
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  • 2Statistics
    Distort (a statistical result); introduce bias into (a method of sampling, measurement, analysis, etc.).

  • 3Electronics
    Give a bias to.

    ‘Hence, the unbiased variance estimator may be negatively biased due to spatial autocorrelation.’
    • ‘When a MOS channel is formed by forward biasing the gate, a Zener tunnel current evolves with a steep turn-on characteristic.’
    • ‘The opening is urged to a closed position by resiliently biasing the filamentary members.’
    • ‘The third electrode may be biased at the potential of the anode through a ballast resistor, and be located near the cathode.’
    • ‘Apparently, function can be fine tuned by either reverse biasing or forward biasing the tension generating step.’



/ˈbīəs/ /ˈbaɪəs/


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘oblique line’; also as an adjective meaning ‘oblique’): from French biais, from Provençal, perhaps based on Greek epikarsios ‘oblique’.