• impartial •
Pronunciation: im-pahr-shêl • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: Unprejudiced, unbiased, neutral in attitude, fair, just.
Notes: Today's word is the negative of the second sense of partial "incomplete; biased" and with to, "having a liking for", as 'partial to fish and chips'. The adverb for this word is impartially and the noun, impartiality, with an extra syllable and a shift in accent: [im-pahr-shi-æ-lê-tee].
In Play: The primary quality of good judges should be impartiality: "The impartiality of the judge came into question when he dismissed a strong case of trespass against his neighbor." We can find useful places to use this word lower in the pecking order, too: "Noah Zarque is not impartial when it comes to his grandchildren."
Word History: Today's Good Word is an assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" + partial "biased, prejudiced". This is yet another word English borrowed from French, which inherited it from Latin partialis "divisible, partial", the adjective accompanying pars, partis "part, piece". English of course borrowed all the French reworkings of this word: part, partiality, particular. Latin pars is its interpretation of PIE root per- "to grant, allot". This PIE word also went into the making of Latin portio(n) "portion, part" that we see in several Latinate borrowings in English: portion, apportion, and proportion.