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A & B Leads

A & B Leads is a designation of leads derived from the midpoints of the two

pairs comprising a 4-wire circuit.


Ab is the eleventh month of the Jewish civil year.


An aba is a sack like garment worn by Arabs.


An abac is a two dimensional matrix, or table, found at the back of a road

atlas which shows the distances between major towns etc.


Abaculi are small cubes of coloured glass, enamel, stone or other material used

in marquetry and mosaic work.


An abacus is a counting frame with balls sliding on wires. It was first used

before the adoption of the ten digit numeric system and is still widely used in



Abaft means towards the rear of a ship.


In English law, abatement refers to legal proceedings which are formerly

abated, or ended, on the marriage, death or bankruptcy of one of the parties,

or some change of interest in the matter in dispute.


Abba is a devotional expression for the Divine Fatherhood, and apparently the

chief appellation of God used by Jesus in prayer. The name was also adopted by

a Swedish seventies pop band from their initials.


An abbey is a body of monks or a monastic building.

Abbey Theatre

The Abbey Theatre is a theatre in Dublin, Ireland, that was home to the Irish

Nationalist movement in the early 1900s. The building itself was purchased by

Miss A.E.F. Horniman to house Frank and W.G. Fay's Irish National Dramatic

Society. The Irish Nationalist movement embraced naturalism, ensemble acting,

and plays about Irish life. It premiered many plays by Irish authors such as

W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, J. M. Synge and Sean O'Casey.

Abbotsford Club

The Abbotsford Club was founded in 1834 on the model of the Bannatyne and

Maitland Clubs and printed works of history and antiquities having relation to

Scott and the Waverley Novels. Between 1835 and 1864 the club issued 34 volumes

before it closed.


Abbreviate means make shorter.

Abbreviated Dialling

Abbreviated Dialling is pre-programming of a caller's phone system or long

distance company's switch to recognise a 2- to 4-digit number as an

abbreviation for a frequently dialled phone number, and automatically dial the

whole number.


An abbreviation is a short form of a word or words.

ABC Process

The ABC Process was a method of purifying sewage which derived its name from

the articles used: sulphate of alumina, blood, charcoal and clay.


Abdicate means to renounce one's thrown.


The abdomen is the part of a creature's body between diaphragm and pelvis.


Abduct means to take away by force or fraud.

Aberdeen Act

The Aberdeen Act was introduced by the earl of Aberdeen, and passed in 1845, to

enforce the observance of a convention made with Brazil in 1826 to put down the

slave trade. It was repealed in 1869.

Aberdeen Line

The Aberdeen Line was a British steamship company founded in 1824 and plying

between London and Australia via the Cape.


Aberration is another word for error.


Abib is the Jewish first month of the ecclesiastical year, when the feast of

the Passover is celebrated. It was later named Nisan.

Abietic acid

Abietic acid is a texturiser in soaps. It is obtained from pine resin.

Abington Law

Abington Law is an English equivalent of Jeddart Justice - that is of hanging a

man in haste, and trying him at leisure - it comes from the summary hanging of

a man at Abington by Major-General Brown.


Abiogenesis is a term applied by Thomas Huxley in 1870 to the theory that

living matter may be produced from non-living.


Ablution is ceremonial washing.


Abnormal means deviating from normal.


Abode is a place where something lives.


An abomasum is the fourth stomach of a ruminant.


Abort means to terminate early.


Abortion is the expulsion of the foetus from the uterus.


In psychology aboulia is the loss of will.


Abracadabra is a qabbalistic magic word used by the Gnostics and others of the

second century and later as a spell to secure the assistance of good spirits

against evil. It was supposed, when written in the form of a triangle and worn

around the neck for nine days, to act as a charm against fevers etc. The word

first occurs in a poem by Sammonicus.


An abrasion is a sore place on the skin caused by rubbing.


Abridge means to shorten by condensing.


An abscess is a pus filled infection of an animal.


In mountaineering abseil means to descend using a rope.

Absentee Tax

Absentee Tax was a tax of 4 shillings in the pound levied in Ireland in 1715 on

the incomes and pensions of absentees. It was long complained of and was

abolished in 1753. A tax of 2 shillings in the pound was proposed in 1773 by

Flood and in 1783 by Molyneux, but neither attempt to reinstate the tax were



Absinth is a strong alcoholic drink containing from 60 to 80 percent alcohol.

It contains wormwood oil which gives it its distinctive taste, but also toxic



Absolute is that which is freed from relation, limitation or dependence. As an

adjective it is therefore applied to the essence of a thing apart from its

relations or appearances, and also to the complete or perfect state of being.

Hence comes its substantial meaning of 'The Absolute' as the self-existent,

self-sufficient Being, that which is free from all limitation, the

all-inclusive Reality. The absolute in one form or another forms a central

feature in the philosophical systems of Spinoza, Schelling and Hegel.

Absolute Delay

Absolute Delay is the actual time taken for a signal to transit a

telecommunications circuit from end to end; affected by the actual circuit

length and the "propagation constants" of the type of medium in use.

Absolute Temperature

Absolute Temperature is temperature based on the absolute zero of temperature

(-273 degrees Celsius or 0 degrees Kelvin) at which a body possesses no thermal


Absolute Zero

In chemistry, absolute zero is the temperature, 273 degrees below the zero of

the centigrade scale, at which all molecular motion ceases.

Absorber Circuit

In electronics, an absorber circuit is a combination of a resistor and a

capacitor in series, connected across the terminals of a switch or other

circuit-breaking device in an oscillatory circuit. Its function is to damp the

circuit and thus to prevent sparking or arcing when the current is interrupted.


An absorptiometer is an instrument for the accurate measurement of the

absorption and transmission of light by semi-transparent substances and used

for the determination of turbidity, fluorimetry, etc.


Abstract means theoretical rather than practical.


Acardia is the condition of a person born without a heart.

Accelerating Electrode

An accelerating electrode is an electrode in an electron tube which is

maintained at a positive potential with respect to the cathode and any other

electrodes situated between the cathode and the accelerating electrode, thus

imparting acceleration to electrons in the direction away from the cathode.

Although this definition includes the anode of the tube, the term is usually

reserved for accelerating electrodes other than the anode.

Accelerating Grid

In electronics, an accelerating grid is an accelerating electrode in the form

of a grid.


Acceleration is the rate at which a moving body increases in velocity.


An accelerator is a device for increasing speed.

Accelerator Valve

An accelerator valve is a thermionic valve employed as a particle accelerator.


An accelerometer is an apparatus, either mechanical or electromechanical, for

measuring acceleration or deceleration - that is, the rate of increase or

decrease in the velocity of a moving object. Accelerometers are used to measure

the efficiency of the braking systems on road and rail vehicles; those used in

aircraft and spacecraft can determine accelerations in several directions

simultaneously. There are also accelerometers for detecting vibrations in



An accent is a local mode of pronunciation in speech.

Acceptance Test

An acceptance test is a test operation of a new or modified device or system

before usage by customers; ascertaining performance is to specifications. The

FCC equivalent is "Proof of Performance Testing."

Access Charge

Access Charge is a cost assessed to users for connection ability to the

interexchange, interstate message toll telephone networks of IEC's by the

user's LEC, to send and receive calls beyond the immediate local exchange area.

May be per minute fees levied on long distance companies, Subscriber Line

Charges (SLCs) levied directly on regular local lines, fixed monthly fees for

special telco circuits (i.e. WAL, DAL, T-1), or Special Access Surcharge (SAS)

on special access circuits.

Access Code

In PBXs, an access code is a digit or digits dialled prior to dialling an

outside call (most typically "9", or a digit entered on a feature phone set to

activate functions like Call Forwarding or Conference Add-on (most typically

"*" or "#")

Access Line

An access line is a telephone circuit connecting a customer location to a

public network switching centre.


Accolade is the ceremony by which knighthood is conferred. Originally it was an

embrace around the neck, today is a gentle blow on the shoulders with the flat

of a sword. An accolade is given by a Sovereign or his representative.


An accomplice is someone associated with somebody else in the committing of a



An accordion is a small portable musical instrument with a keyboard and

bellows. It was invented by Damian in 1829.

Account Code

In PBXs, an account code is a code digit or digits a user must enter before or

after a call is dialled, to establish accounting for the charges for the call.


Accounts are a statement of income and expenditure.


In electrical terms, an accumulator stores electrical energy.


An ace is a playing card with one pip.


Acesulfame-K is an artificial sweetener, manufactured by Hoechst, a giant

German chemical company, and widely used around the world. It is about 200

times sweeter than sugar and is marketed under the name Sunett. In the United

States, for several years acesulfame-K was permitted only in such foods as

sugar-free baked goods, chewing gum, and gelatin desserts. In July 1998, the

FDA allowed this chemical to be used in soft drinks, thereby greatly increasing

consumer exposure. Studies on rats indicate that it may cause cancer.


Acetal is a colourless liquid formed by oxidation of alcohol.


Acetaldehyde is a colourless liquid with a pungent, fruity odour. It is used

primarily as a chemical intermediate, principally for the production of acetic

acid, pyridine and pyridine bases, peracetic acid, pentaerythritol, butylene

glycol, and chloral. It is used in the production of esters, particularly ethyl

acetate and isobutyl acetate. It is also used in the synthesis of

crotonaldehyde, flavour and fragrance acetals, acetaldehyde

1,1-dimethylhydrazone, acetaldehyde cyanohydrin, acetaldehyde oxime, and

various acetic esters, paraldehyde, metaldehyde, polymers, and various

halogenated derivatives. Acetaldehyde is used in denatured alcohol. In the past

it was a chemical intermediate for 2-ethyl-1-butanol, glyoxal, acrolein, and

acetaldehyde-aniline condensate. Acetaldehyde has been used in the manufacture

of aniline dyes and synthetic rubber, to silver mirrors, and to harden gelatin

fibres. It has been used in the production of polyvinyl acetal resins, in fuel

compositions, and to inhibit mould growth on leather. It is also used in the

manufacture of disinfectants, drugs, perfumes, explosives, lacquers, varnishes,

photographic chemicals, phenolic and urea resins, rubber accelerators,

antioxidants, and room air deodorisers. It is also a pesticide intermediate.

Acetaldehyde is a compound for the intended use as a flavouring agent and

adjuvant. It is an important component of food flavourings added to milk

products, baked goods, fruit juices, candy, desserts, and soft drinks; the

concentration of acetaldehyde in food is usually up to .047%. It is an

especially useful synthetic flavouring ingredient to impart orange, apple, and

butter flavours, and is used in the manufacture of vinegar and yeast and as a

fruit and fish preservative. Acetaldehyde is a volatile and flammable liquid.

It is miscible in water, alcohol, ether, benzene, gasoline, solvent, naphtha,

toluene, xylene, turpentine, acetone, and other common organic solvents. It is

a highly reactive compound that

undergoes numerous condensation, addition, and polymerisation reactions. It is

dangerous when exposed to heat or flame; it can react vigorously with oxidising

material, acid anhydrides, alcohols, ketones, phenols, halogens, isocyanates,

and strong alkalies and amines. It is also incompatible with acids, bases,

alcohol, ammonia, amines, phenols, ketones, and hydrogen cyanide. It will

polymerise readily in the presence of trace metals. Acetaldehyde can form

unstable or explosive peroxides with exposure to the air. It may polymerise

under influence of air and heat, acids, or bases with potential of fire or

explosion. It is polymerised violently by concentrated sulphuric acid. Rubber

products decompose on contact with acetaldehyde, but it is not corrosive to

most metals. It is also known as acetic aldehyde, ethanal, NCI-C56326, and

ethyl aldehyde.

Acetic acid

Acetic acid is an organic acid with the formulae ch3cooh.

Acetic Aldehyde

see "Acetaldehyde"

Acetic ether

see "Ethyl Acetate"


Acetone is the simplest and most important of the ketones. It is a colourless

liquid with a mildly pungent and somewhat aromatic odour. It is primarily used

as a chemical intermediate and as a solvent for cellulose acetate and

nitro-cellulose. It is used as a carrier for acetylene, and as a raw material

for the chemical synthesis of a wide range of products such as ketene, methyl

methacrylate, bisphenol A, diacetone alcohol, mesityl oxide, methyl isobutyl

ketone, hexylene glycol, and isophorone. Acetone is a mobile, flammable liquid

that is miscible in all proportions with water and with organic solvents such

as ether, methanol, ethyl alcohol, and esters. It is incompatible and reactive

with oxidisers and acids. Containers of acetone may explode in a fire,

producing poisonous gases. Acetone fires may be controlled with carbon dioxide

or dry chemical extinguishers. Acetone undergoes many condensation reactions;

in the presence of an amine, or ammonia, various esters condense readily with

acetone. Acetone is also known commercially as dimethyl ketone, methyl ketone,

dimethylformaldehyde, ketone propane, and 2-propanone.


Acetylene is a highly inflammable gas of the hydrocarbon family used for

welding and cutting metals. It was discovered by Berthelot. In 1862 Wohler

discovered that carbide of calcium treated with water produced lime and

acetylene. In 1895 acetylene was cheaply produced on a commercial scale and

subsequently was used for general lighting.

Achromatic Telescope

An achromatic telescope is a telescope in which colour is got rid of. They were

invented by Jogn Dollond around 1753.


An acid is a chemical compound that reacts with metals to form salts by

releasing hydrogen. All acids contain hydrogen, some also contain oxygen and

these are called oxy-acids. Varying amounts of oxygen in an acid are reflected

in its name ending -ous or -ic, and the salts formed from such acids are

similarly named ending in -ite and -ate.

Acid Buf

Acid Buf is a tradename for calcified seaweed - lithothamnium calcareum.

Acid of Sugar

see "Oxalic Acid"


In telecommunications, ACK is the 'acknowledge' character in many data codes;

used most commonly for an affirmative response of correct receipt.


The aclinic is a magnetic equator.


Aconitine is a poisonous alkaloid derived from aconite.

Acorn Valve

An acorn valve is a form of thermionic valve used at ultra-high frequencies, in

which, by adopting very small dimensions and special constructions, the

inter-electrode capacitances, lead inductances and transit time effects are

greatly reduced.


The term acoustic refers to hearing.

Acoustic Coupler

An acoustic coupler is means of connecting external devices to a telephone

handset avoiding direct electrical connection; most commonly used for low-speed

data terminals.

Acoustic Feedback

Acoustic feedback is the return of acoustic energy from the output of a sound

reproducing equipment, such as a microphone-amplifier-loudspeaker combination,

to the input or to an intermediate stage, thereby causing the system to

generate sustained oscillations which are manifested as continual howling.


see "acoustic"


An acre is an ancient measurement of land area being (since 1824) 4840 square

yards. Prior to that Edward I introduced the first standard for the acre in



Acridine is an organic compound with the formulae c13h9n used in dyes and drugs.


An acronym is a word formed from the initials of other words.


Acrophobia is the fear of high places.


The acropolis was the citadel of ancient Greek cities.


An acrostic is a poem in which the first or last letters of each line, read

downwards, form a word or sentence. Double acrostics became very popular in



Acrylamide is an odourless, free-flowing white crystalline used as a chemical

intermediate in the production and synthesis of polyacrylamides. These

high-molecular weight polymers can be modified to develop non-ionic, anionic,

or cationic properties for specific uses. The principle end use of acrylamide

is in water-soluble polymers used as additives for water treatment, enhanced

oil recovery, flocculants, papermaking aids, thickeners, soil conditioning

agents, sewage and waste treatment, ore processing, and permanent press

fabrics. Acrylamide is also used in the synthesis of dyes, in copolymers for

contact lenses, and the construction of dam foundations, tunnels, and sewers.

The largest use for polyacrylamide is in treating municipal drinking water and

wastewater. The polymer is also used to remove suspended solids from industrial

wastewater before discharge, reuse, or disposal. Acrylamides also find use in

oil-drilling processes to control fluid losses. In the pulp and paper industry,

polyacrylamides are used as binders and retention aids for fibres and to retain

pigments on paper fibres. Acrylamide is a soil stabiliser and also finds use in

foundry operations to facilitate free sand flow into moulds. Home appliances,

building materials, and automotive parts are coated with acrylamide resins and

thermosetting acrylics. Acrylamides are formulated in cosmetics and soap

preparations as thickeners and in dental fixtures, hair grooming preparations,

and preshave lotions. Minor uses of acrylamide are as latex thickeners,

emulsion stabilisers for printing inks, gelling agents for explosives, binders

in adhesives and adhesive tape, in the production of diazo compounds, and for

gel chromatography and electrophoresis. Acrylamide occurs in crystalline form

and in aqueous solution. It is soluble in water, methanol, ethanol, dimethyl

ether, and acetone; it is insoluble in benzene and heptane. The monomer readily

polymerises at the melting point or under ultraviolet light.

d acrylamide is stable at room temperature, but may polymerise violently when

melted or in contact with oxidising agents such as chlorine dioxide and

bromine. When heated to decomposition, acrylamide emits a poisonous gas, acrid

fumes, and NOx. If heating to high temperatures, acrylamide can explode.

Acrylamide is also known as acrylamide monomer, acrylic amide, propenamide, and


Acrylamide monomer

see "Acrylamide"


Acrylic is a synthetic fibre derived from acrylic acid.

Acrylic amide

see "Acrylamide"

Act of Succession

The Act of Succession in 1534 declared the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine

of Aragon null and void, and settled the succession to the throne on the heirs

of Henry VIII by Anne Boleyn.


An actinide is an element with an atomic number between 89 and 103.


Actinium is a radioactive trivalent element that resembles lanthanum in

chemical properties and is found especially in pitchblende. It has the symbol



An actinometer is an instrument for measuring heat radiation.


ActiveX is a technology developed by Microsoft for sharing information among

different applications. ActiveX is an outgrowth of two other Microsoft

technologies: OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) and COM (Component Object

Model). ActiveX supports features that enable it to take advantage of the

Internet. For example, an ActiveX control can be automatically downloaded and

executed by a Web browser. ActiveX is not a programming language, but rather a

set of rules for how applications should share information. Programmers can

develop ActiveX controls in a variety of languages, including C , C++, Visual

Basic, and Java. An ActiveX control is similar to a Java applet. Unlike Java

applets, however, ActiveX controls have full access to the Windows operating

system. This gives them more power than Java applets, but also the risk that

the control may damage software on your machine. To control this risk,

Microsoft developed a registration system so that browsers can identify and

authenticate an ActiveX control before downloading it. Another difference

between Java applets and ActiveX controls is that Java applets run on all

platforms, whereas ActiveX controls are currently limited to Windows

environments. Related to ActiveX is the scripting language VBScript that

enables Web authors to embed interactive elements in HTML documents. Just as

JavaScript is similar to Java, so VBScript is similar to Visual Basic.

Currently, Microsoft's Web browser, Internet Explorer, supports Java,

JavaScript, and ActiveX, whereas Netscape's Navigator browsers support only

Java and JavaScript.

Actor's Studio

The Actor's Studio is an acting school in New York that taught an Americanized

version of Stanislavsky's Method and was very influential in 1950s and 60s

American drama. It was founded in 1947-48 either by Lee Strasberg or by Elia

Kazan and Cheryl Crawford, depending on which source you consult. Strasberg

served as artistic director of the school until his death in 1982. Many notable

American actors of the 1950s and 1960s were graduates, including Marlon Brando,

Rod Steiger, James Dean, Montgomery Clift and Eva Marie-Saint.

Acts of Supremacy

The Acts of Supremacy were passed in 1534 enacting that the King (Henry VIII)

was the only supreme head on earth of the Church of England, with power to

redress all heresies and abuses.


Ada is a computer programming language developed for the US Department of

Defence which permits the development of very large computer systems and can

cope with complex real-time applications. It was named after Augusta Ada King,

Countess of Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, who worked with Charles Babbage.


Adagio is a musical term indicating that the movement should be played slowly

and expressively.

Adaptive Equalisation

Adaptive Equalisation is a telecommunications term referring to the

equalisation of received digital signals capable of adjustment during actual


Adaptive Equalisation

Adaptive Equalisation is equalisation of received digital signals capable of

adjustment during actual transmission.

Adaptive Routing

In data networks, adaptive routing is routing algorithms capable of adjusting

message routes in response to changes in traffic patterns or transmission

channel failures.

Adcock Aerial

an Adcock aerial is a radio aerial system consisting of two vertical

open-spaced dipoles with screened horizontal connections. It thus responds

almost exclusively to the vertically polarised component of a received wave and

is used for radio direction finding.

Addiscombe College

Addiscombe College was a college near Croydon, Surrey, which was purchased by

the East India Company in 1809, for the education of candidates for scientific

branches of the Indian army. It was closed in 1861.

Addition reaction

In chemistry, addition reaction is a reaction in which a reagent adds to a

carbon-carbon double or triple bond.

Additional Forces Act

The Additional Forces Act was passed in Britain by Pitt, owing to the imminent

danger of the invasion of the country by Napoleon in 1803 and the following

years. The act legalised the formation of second battalions to the regular

regiments then serving abroad. The United Kingdom was divided up into

districts, which were required by the act to furnish quotas of 3000 men each.

The act was repealed after the death of Pitt.


Adenine is a base derived from purine; one of the five found in nucleic acids,

where it is generally paired with thymine or uracil.

Adenosine triphosphate

Adenosine triphosphate is a molecule formed by the condensation of adenine,

ribose and triphosphoric acid. It is a key compound in the mediation of energy

in both plants and animals. Energy is stored when it is synthesised from

adenosine diphosphate and phosphoric acid and released when the reaction is



An adhesive is a sticky substance.


Adipocere is a substance in dead bodies formed by decomposition of fatty acids

when exposed to moisture.


An adit is the horizontal entrance to a mine.


The admiralty was the board of state charged with the provision, organisation

and control of the royal navy. It was founded by Henry VIII and amalgamated in

1964 into the ministry of defence.


Adnams is an English beer brewing company of Suffolk. They were established in


Adnams Regatta

Adnams Regatta is an English summer ale brewed with English pale ale malts and

Goldings hops.


An adobe is a Mexican house made of clay bricks.

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is a coding system developed by Adobe Systems for electronic

publishing applications. It was launched 1993. Acrobat coding was designed to

turn computers into information distributors that would allow Macintosh users

to view a document in its original form, and can be generated directly from

PostScript files.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is an illustration program for the PC and Mac for creating

high-quality PostScript line drawings. It includes the tools of a basic drawing

program, and also provides the ability to use lines and curves to trace a

bit-mapped image and run it into crisp PostScript output. This can be done

manually with the pen tool or automatically using the AutoTrace tool. AutoTrace

automatically traces shapes from a template, which saves time. The end result

is a PostScript line-art drawing that can be printed in a resolution limited

only by the output device. The product should be considered for translating

bitmapped graphics to PostScript drawings. Adobe Illustrator uses Bezier curves

which are composed of anchor points (ends of the curve) and direction points.

Direction points determine the shape of your curve. You can reshape the curve

by dragging its points. You can also add and move anchor points and delete

sections of your curve.

Adobe PageMill

Adobe PageMill is a commercial Windows HTML editor. It was originally developed

for the Macintosh, it is also available for Windows 95 offering WYSIWYG HTML

editing as well as incorporation of many of the most popular Web capabilities.


In chemistry, adsorption is a process in which molecules or ions adhere to the

surface of a solid.


An adult is a fully grown being.


Advent was the prototypical computer adventure game, first implemented on the

PDP-10 by Will Crowther as an attempt at computer-refereed fantasy gaming, and

expanded into a puzzle-oriented game by Don Woods. Now better known as

Adventure, but the TOPS-10 operating system permitted only six-letter filenames.


An adytum is the inner most part of a temple.


An adze is a carpenter's tool for cutting away the surface of wood.

Aelfric Society

The Aelfric Society was founded in 1842 to publish the Homilies of Aelfric,

archbishop of Canterbury and other Anglo-Saxon works. It closed in 1856.


The Aeneid is Virgil's epic poem in twelve books, setting forth the wanderings

of Aeneas. The poem has been translated into English several times, among

others by Gawin Douglas in 1513, Dryden in 1697 and William Morris in 1876.

Aeolian Harp

The Aeolian Harp is a sounding-board on which are strung several gut strings of

different thickness; these are tuned to the same note and give its various

harmonics when made to vibrate by the wind. Its invention is ascribed to St

Dunstan, but in its present form it is not thought to have existed before the

17th century.


An aeolipile is a hollow metallic ball which rotates about its vertical axis,

with horizontal arm-like tubes projecting radially, and having their free ends

bent round in a tangential direction. When the water in the globe is heated,

and steam rushes out of the tubes, rotation is established. The aeolipile was

invented in 120 BC.


The aeolopile is a hollow ball with an orifice where a tube might be screwed.

It was used in the 17th century as a boiler for experimental steam-engines. A

similar apparatus is described by Vitruvius in the first century, and its

invention is generally attributed to Hiero of Alexandria.


Aeolotropy is the antithesis of isotropy. It is the state of those bodies or

substances which do not exhibit the same qualities in all directions.


An aeon is an immeasurable period.

Aerated Water

Aerated water (soda water) is a solution of carbonic acid in water. It was

discovered by Priestly and suggested as a prevention of scurvy, a paper being

presented to the Admiralty in 1773. Certainly sailors drank aerated water on

board ship as a bottle was found from the Royal George which sank in 1780.


An aerial is a receiving or radiating device used in radio communications.


An aerodrome is a place where aircraft are based.


The aerophore was an apparatus invented by Denayrouze to enable persons to

enter a noxious inflammable atmosphere. It comprised an air-pump, lamp, and

flexible tubing. It was tried at Chatham in January 1875 and was reported


Aerostatic Press

An aerostatic press is an apparatus by which the pigments are extracted from

dyewoods. In use, a solvent is forced through the wood by atmospheric pressure.


In zoology, aestivation is a summer sleep (rather like hibernation). It is not

uncommon in animals who live in hot climates, especially those who require a

degree of moisture, thus both land and water tortoises frequently retire into

cavities of the ground during heat and drought and remain there until the

recurrence of the rainy season.


Affettuoso is an Italian musical term indicating a tender and affecting style;

it lies between adagio and andante, and is frequently joined with these terms.


Afrikaans is a language used in the Republic of South Africa.


An agenda is a list of tasks.

Aggry Beads

Aggry Beads are glass beads prized by West African natives as ornaments and

having magical and medicinal powers.


Agma is a tradename for calcined magnesite.

Agony Column

Originally, an agony column was a column in newspapers in which advertisements

regarding missing relatives and friends, secret correspondence etc. were

inserted. The name derived from the distress betrayed in many of the adverts.

Today, an agony column is more associated with a column in a newspaper or

magazine in which readers ask for advice on difficult and usually controversial

situations (such as having an affair with a married person). The advice is

given by an "agony aunt", a regular columnist working for the newspaper.


Agoraphobia is the fear of open spaces.

Agricultural Children Act

The Agricultural Children Act of 1873 prohibited the employment of children

under eight years of age, and provided for the education of older children.

Agricultural Hall

Agricultural Hall is a building in Islington, London. Work commenced on it in

1861, and it opened in 1862 for an exhibition of dogs. It was constructed

chiefly for the meetings of the Smithfield Club.


Agurk (cucumber) is a kind of trick taking card game, where the player to take

the last trick of each deal receives a penalty. The game was played extensively

at DIKU in the 1970s. Even before then, variants of it were popular with bridge

players in Denmark and Southern Sweden. A similar game, Ogorok (also meaning

cucumber) is played in Poland.


AIDX is a derogatory term for IBM's perverted version of UNIX, AIX, especially

for the AIX 3.? used in the IBM RS/6000 series. A victim of the dreaded

"hybridism" disease, this attempt to combine the two main currents of the UNIX

stream (BSD and USG UNIX) became a monstrosity to haunt system administrators'

dreams. For example, if new accounts are created while many users are logged

on, the load average jumps quickly over 20 due to a silly implementation of the

user databases.


The air is a mixture of gasses enveloping the earth.


An aircraft is a flying machine, a vessel which flies through the air rather

than floats on water or travels along a road or rail.


An aisle is a passage between rows of seats.

Albert Medal

The Albert Medal was a British decoration established in 1866 for gallantry in

the saving of life.

Albert Memorial

The Albert Memorial is a memorial in Hyde Park, London. It was erected in

memory of Prince Albert. It is an Eleanor cross, 45 meters high, embellished

with statues and designed by Sir Georhe Gilbert Scott. It was completed in 1872

and contains a gilt statue of Prince Albert by Foley. It was unveiled on March

the 9th 1876.


The albuminoids are organic nitrogenous compounds chemically allied to the

proteids, but differing from them and from one another in various ways. The

chief recognised albuminoids are collagen, gelatin, keratin, elastin, ossein

and chitin.


Alcalde is a card game variation of Brisca for three players, played with the

40-card Spanish deck.


Alchemy was the medieval forerunner to chemistry. It was the supposed technique

of transmuting base metals, such as lead and mercury, into silver and gold by

the philosopher's stone, a hypothetical substance, to which was also attributed

the power to give eternal life. This aspect of alchemy constituted much of the

chemistry of the Middle Ages. More broadly, however, alchemy was a system of

philosophy that dealt both with the mystery of life and the formation of

inanimate substances. Alchemy was a complex and indefinite conglomeration of

chemistry, astrology, occultism, and magic, blended with obscure and abstruse

ideas derived from various religious systems and other sources. It was

practised in Europe from ancient times to the Middle Ages but later fell into

disrepute when chemistry and physics developed. Alchemy probably began in

Egypt, where it is mentioned in very early records. Many legends developed

regarding the origin of this mystical science, which is variously attributed to

Hermes Trismegistus, to the fallen angels of the Book of Genesis, and yet again

by revelation to Moses and Aaron. The origin through Hermes was most generally

accepted, and has affected chemical language down to the present day (for

example, hermetically sealed). During the 4th and 5th centuries the writings of

the alchemists continued increasing until by the end of the 5th century

speculative alchemy had reached its highest point in the Alexandrian schools.

During the Islamic conquests, many Arabs and Persians became notable

alchemists. One of the best known was Jabir ibn Hayyan, known to western Europe

as Geber. His ideas were very similar to those of the old Alexandrian

philosophers, and he also believed in the influence of the planets on metals.

The theory of transmutation, which can be traced quite easily in the writings

of the Greek philosophers, continued to exist amongst the alchemists of the

Middle Ages and men such as St Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon, and Vincent of


all believed in it. Even well into the 17th century alchemistic ideas were

still held, at least from the academic point of view, by the chemists of the

period. Among them may be mentioned Johann Glauber, Robert Boyle, and, for some

time Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, and even Dr Johnson, who was

interested in chemistry.


Alcohol is a volatile liquid derived from hydrocarbons.


see "alcohol"


Aldebaran is the chief star of the constellation of Taurus.


Aldehyde is a chemistry term applied to the compounds of alcohol intermediate

between the alcohols and the acids.

Aldus Persuasion

Aldus Persuasion is a full-featured desktop-presentation product for the Mac

that lets you create graphics presentations using slides, transparencies,

speaker notes, audience handouts, and on-screen slide shows. It includes an

outliner, freehand-drawing tools, and business-charting capabilities.

presentations can be created from scratch, or can include charts created in a

spreadsheet or any graphics imported from another package. Aldus Persuasion

includes an outliner to begin creating presentations. Once the outliner and

slide masters are set, the program automatically creates your slides. The

outline text and slide text are hot linked, so changes made to one are

automatically reflected in the other. Speakers notes can be created from the

outline. Aldus Persuasion lets you create multiple masters for slides, notes,

and handouts. You define page orientation, background colour and pattern, and

the graphics to be placed on the master. You can add a title, body text,

charts, tables, or organisation charts to the master. More than one master can

be used in a presentation. This means that a company can intersperse master

text slides, master chart slides and master table slides in a single

presentation. New masters can be created based on existing ones. The drawing

tools are very advanced and allow editing of all characteristics of an object.

Although Aldus Persuasion does not do calculations, it includes powerful chart

editing capabilities and provides full control over axes, tick marks, legend

placement, formatting of axes, switching of axes, and numerical formats.

Persuasion lets you import worksheets from spreadsheet programs such as

Microsoft Excel and generate charts using the data. Aldus Persuasion outputs to

a number of slide services as well as printers and film recorders compatible

with the Apple System. The slide-show generator lets you set the delay between

slides and layers on slides. You can set the show for full screen, partial

screen, or continuous cycle,

where the show automatically repeats, or set it to stop after it has gone

through the show once. You can also set the show to either automatic advance

where you can set the timing, or manual where you click the mouse to move from

slide to slide.


An aleurometer is a device used in bread making for measuring the quality of

wheaten flour.

Alfa Sprint

The Alfa Sprint is a sporty front-wheel drive coupe automobile plagued by a

poor quality body and powered by a 1500 or 1700 CC engine giving roughly 30 mpg.


Algebra is a division of mathematics dealing with relations.


see "algebra"


Algin (Alginic Acid) is a substance resembling albumin, but not coagulated by

heat. It is obtained from seaweed, chiefly the genera Fucus and Laminaria, as a

precipitate after boiling with sodium carbonate and adding hydrochloric acid.

It is used as a dressing for fabrics and as a thickening for soups and jellies.

Alginic Acid

see "Algin"


Algol is a star in the constellation of Perseus. It was catalogued by Ptolemy

as the lucida of the Gorgon. It is the model 'eclipse star' varying in

brightness over a two day period through the interpositions of a revolving dark

satellite. The light-changes of Algol were noticed by Montanari in 1669 and

methodically observed and explained by Goodricke in 1783.

ALGOL is an algebraic computer language.


An algorithm is a set of rules.


Algraphy is a printing process in which aluminium plates are used.


The plea of alibi in a criminal prosecution means that the person accused was

elsewhere (alibi) at the time of the commission of the crime. If proved, it is

conclusive, however it is a plea easily and frequently fabricated.


In law, alienation is the transfer of the title to property from one person to

another by conveyance, and not by inheritance.


In Scottish law, aliment is the maintenance of children and other persons who

are entitled to claim on the grounds of relationship or marriage.


Alimony is an allowance made by a husband to a wife, or by a wife to a husband,

in divorce proceedings.


Alkakarb is a tradename for sodium bicarbonate.


An alkali is a chemical substance.


The alkaloids are nitrogenous organic substances having alkaline or basic

properties. They occur in both animal and vegetable substances, and may be

prepared artificially. Most alkaloids are white, odourless, crystalline solids

composed of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, but a few are liquids and

contain no oxygen. They all combine with acids to form well-defined salts, but

have few other properties in common, though many have an acrid, bitter taste

and most are powerful poisons.


The alkanes are the paraffin series of hydrocarbons.


see "alkane"


In chemistry, alkanoyl is the general name for an organic functional group

R.CO-, where R represents hydrogen or an alkyl group.


An alkene is a member of the ethylene series of hydrocarbons.


Alkort is an Icelandic card game for four players, who play in two partnerships

of two. An ordinary pack of cards is used but the 10s and 5s are taken out

(leaving 44 cards).


Alkyl refers to a substance which is derived from or related to the paraffin

series of hydrocarbons.


Alkyloamides are groups of synthetic fatty acids designated as DEA, MEA, MIPA,

and PEG. Used for thickening, gelling, emulsifying, emolliency, skin and hair

conditioning, foam boosting, foam stabilizing, wetting, opacifying,

lubricating, powder binding, skin protecting, fungicidal properties, and

superfatting. They are found in shampoos, bubble baths, and liquid hand and

body cleansers. They are harmful when contaminated by nitrosamines, and harmful

to the environment.

All Fives

All Fives is the name of a card game and also a domino game (Five-Up). The card

game All Fives is a variation of All Fours for two or three players, in which

additional points are scored for taking certain trump cards in tricks: Ace=4;

K=3; Q=2; J=1; 10=10; 5=5. Having introduced these extra points, some players

have dropped the original points for high, low jack and game.


Five-Up is a game played with a standard set of Western double-six dominoes -

28 tiles in all. It is also known as Muggins or All Fives.

All Souls' Day

All Souls' Day is a festival of the Roman Catholic Church on November the 2nd,

offering prayers to the faithful dead. It was instituted in 998 in the

monastery of Clugny.


Allantoin is a crystalline solid substance discovered by Vauquelin in 1790 in

the foetal fluids of many animals. It is reported to have healing, soothing and

anti-irritating properties. Today it is extracted from urea, which is derived

from the urine of most animals, and from herbs like comfrey or uva ursi, and is

used in cosmetics.


Allegretto is an indication of tempo in music. It is a diminutive of allegro

and signifies a slower movement than allegro but not as slow as andante.


Allegro is a musical term signifying a quick, lively rate of movement, nearly

intermediate between andante and presto.


An alley is a narrow street.

Allgemeine Zeitung

Allgemeine Zeitung is a German newspaper. It was founded in 1778 by Johann Cota

in Stuttgart.


In chemistry, allotropism is the property of certain elements of existing in

more than one form, such as oxygen and ozone.


An alloy is a mixture of a metal and other metals or non-metals.


Allspice is a spice prepared from the dried berries of the evergreen pimento

tree or West Indian pepper tree Pimenta dioica of the myrtle family, cultivated

chiefly in Jamaica. It has an aroma similar to that of a mixture of cinnamon,

cloves, and nutmeg.


Alluvium is river transported deposits of mud, sand and gravel which accumulate

to form distinctive features such as levees, flood plains and deltas.


Allyl is an unsaturated organic radical from which are derived an alcohol and

other compounds. Allyl alcohol is prepared by heating glycerin and oxalic acid.


An alpenhorn is a long bugle-horn made of wood formerly used by Swiss peasants

to communicate with each other over long distances.


An alpenstock is a stout staff, iron-tipped, used by mountain climbers. The

names of ascended peaks are often branded onto its shaft.


Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet.

Alpha hydroxy acids

Alpha hydroxy acids are a group of acids that appear naturally in fruit. They

are used in toners, creams, and masks to exfoliate and moisturise the skin.

They can be a skin irritant causing redness and rashes.

Alpha particle

In chemistry, an alpha particle is the positively charged nucleus of the helium


Alpha Particles

Alpha Particles are the nuclei of the atom of helium, comprising two neutrons

and two protons, and thus exhibiting a positive electric charge.

Alpha Rays

Alpha Rays are a stream of swiftly moving alpha particles. An alpha ray is

capable of ionising gases and of producing fluorescence in certain substances.


see "Vitamin E"


Alpha/three is a file manager that uses the dBase III table and index format.

It was a strong choice for companies which have standardised on dBase and have

a lot of users who need to work with the data but are not dBase programmers.

Although Alpha/three is a good complement to dBase lIl Plus, it has many

features that make it a very good stand-alone file manager including data

validation, a powerful report writer and a form letter generator which can

insert variable text into standard form letters.


An alphabet is an ordered series of letters used in language.

Alpine Club

The Alpine Club was an English society formed in London in 1857 to bring

together those people interested in mountain climbing.

Alpine Journal

The Alpine Journal was the magazine published by the Alpine Club. The magazine

was founded in 1863.


Alprostadil is a synthetic hormone used to induce labour (through ripening the

cervix) in pregnant women. It is applied as a gel behind the cervix, which it

is absorbed by and causes the cervix to dilate and contractions to occur. It

carries with it the risk of distressing the baby which may not be able to cope

with the sudden and violent contractions, and may also have the side effect of

causing the woman to experience a long and agonising labour of

pseudo-contractions before real contractions commence.


An altar is a block used for making offerings to a deity.

Alternating Current

Alternating current is electric current which changes direction rhythmically,

rising from zero to a maximum in the positive direction, falling to zero again

and then increasing to a maximum in the negative direction before returning

again to zero, after which the cycle repeats. The number of cycles per second

is the frequency of the alternating phenomenon. British domestic alternating

current exhibits 50 cycles per second, where as American domestic alternating

current exhibits 60.


The Althing is the parliament of Iceland, it was created in 928 on the lines of

the previously existing Norse Thing and is the oldest parliamentary assembly in

the world. It's modern form was constituted in 1874.


An altimeter is a device measuring altitude.


Altitude is height above mean sea level.


Aluette (or la Vache, "The Cow Game") is a card game played in Vendee and the

coasts of Brittany, using a 48-card Spanish suited deck with special designs.

Aluette is a very peculiar trick-taking game where suits are irrelevant.

Partners use mimics to signal their hands. The mechanism is similar to that of

early games like Truc / Trut and Put. The use of Spanish suited cards is

surprising, but there is a theory that these suits were originally used

throughout France and were displaced in most of the country by French suits

when those were invented. Aluette may be an extremely old game: some late

15th-century records from the South-West of France mention a card game called

Luettes. However, Nantes clearly appears as the modern cradle of the game:

until c. 1700 there was in Nantes a large group of Spanish merchants, and

Spanish suited cards made in Thiers (Auvergne) were conveyed on the Loire river

up to Nantes where they were shipped to Bilbao and Navarra. The hypothesis of a

late introduction (17th century?) through Spanish merchants in Nantes is not



Aluminium is a bluish-silver-white, malleable, ductile, light, trivalent

metallic element with good electrical and thermal conductivity, high

reflectivity, and resistance to oxidation and is the most abundant metal in the

earth's crust occurring always in combination. It has the symbol Al.


Alundum is a form of aluminium oxide used in the manufacture of thermionic

valves for insulating the cathode heater from the tubular cathode.


An amalgam is an alloy of mercury. All metals except iron and platinum form

amalgams. Used extensively in dentistry for filling teeth, amalgams were found

in 1998 to damage the immune system and are likely to be one of the causes of



Amaurosis is an obsolete term for loss of sight. It became obsolete around 1900.


The Amazon was a West India mail steam ship. She left Southampton on her first

voyage on Friday 2nd of January 1852 and on Sunday morning, January 4th, she

was destroyed by fire at sea, about 175 km west-south-west of Scilly. Of 161

persons on board 102 perished.


Ambaree is a fibre similar to jute and largely used in India. It is obtained

from Hibiscus cannabinus.


Amber is fossilised resin.


Ambergris is a substance derived from the intestine of the sperm whale and used

in perfume.


Ambidextrous is having the facility to use the left hand as effectively as the


Ambient Noise

Ambient Noise is constant noise present in all forms of telecommunications



In the early Christian Church, an ambo was a reading desk or pulpit from which

the lessons were read or the sermon preached.

Ambrosian Library

The Ambrosian Library is a famous library in Milan, founded in 1602 by Carlos

Borromeo, and named in honour of St Ambrose, the patron saint of the city.


An ambulance is a wagon, litter or other means of transport used for the

conveyance of the sick and disabled.


In architecture, an ambulatory is any part of a building intended for walking

around a central space or shrine, such as the aisles of a cathedral or church.

The term is used for the lateral or flanking porticos of an ancient Greek

temple, and for the cloister of a monastery.


Amenorrhoea is a medical condition being the absence or suspension of



American is a term referring to someone or something which comes from, or is

found in, America.

American Wire Gauge

American Wire Gauge (AWG) is descriptive of the diameter of wire conductors,

particularly in twisted pair cabling; The AWG has an effect on the transmission

capacity and distance a given wire can offer. Internationally, wire size is

described in millimetric diameter, except in England, where the weight in

pounds per mile is used.


Americium is a synthetic chemical element with the symbol Am that is the most

frequently used element for superconducting devices. It is artificially

produced from plutonium, and is used commercially in gauges, distance-sensing

devices, and smoke alarms. Americium was first synthesised in a nuclear reactor

in 1944 by Glenn Seaborg, Ralph James, Leon Morgan, and Albert Ghiorso.


The Amharic language is a language spoken in Ethiopia since the 13th century

when it succeeded Geez or Ethiopic. It is Semitic in origin and written right

to left.


An amice is a white linen vestment worn by Roman Catholic and many Anglican

priests when officiating at Mass or Holy Eucharist.

Amicus curiae

Amicus curiae is a legal term for a barrister advising the court in a legal

case as a neutral person, not representing either side. In England and Wales,

for example, where the public interest is concerned, the Attorney General (or

his or her representative) may be asked to express an opinion. Professional

bodies such as the Law Society may be represented in order to give an opinion

on matters affecting their members. In the USA, a person with a strong interest

in or views on the subject matter of an action, but who is not a party to it,

may be given the court's permission to act as amicus curiae, usually only in

matters of broad public interest.


The amides are a group of organic compounds derived from ammonia by the

replacement of a portion of the hydrogen by an acid radical. they are usually

solid substances, are neutral to litmus, but act as bases to acids, with which

they form salts. Treated with phosphoric anhydride, they are dehydrated, and

become nitriles; while if they are boiled with aqueous caustic potash they give

off ammonia, and leave the potash in combination with the acid.


see "Aniline"


Amidogen is the group NH2. It is known only in combination forming amides with

acid radicals, and amines with alkyls. The products are generally known as

amido compounds.


Amines are a class of compounds derived from ammonia by the replacement of one

or more hydrogen atoms with organic groups.


Amines are compounds derived from ammonia by replacing the hydrogen with one or

more alkyls or alcohol radicals; they are primary, secondary or tertiary

according to the number of hydrogen atmos replaced. The amines are mostly

volatile, and act as bases, forming salts with acids in a similar manner to


Amino acid

Amino acids are fundamental constituents of all proteins.

Amino acids

see "amino acid"


An ammeter is a device for measuring electrical current.


Ammonia (Spirits of Hartshorn) is a colourless gas. Formulae NH3. It occurs in

nature in minute quantities in the atmosphere and in natural waters, being

derived from the decomposition of nitrogenous organic substances. It appears to

have been known to the ancients, but was obtained by Priestley in 1774 and its

exact composition was demonstrated by Berthollet in 1785.


Ammonite is an explosive composed of pure ammonium nitrate and ntro-napthalene;

formerly used in coal mining.


Ammonium is the basic radical of ammonium salts. It is comprised of one atom of

nitrogen and four atoms of hydrogen.

Ammonium Sulphate

Ammonium sulphate is a brown-grey to white crystalline solid which is used

primarily as a nitrogen fertilizer. It is a particularly good fertilizer for

rice. It is also used as a general-purpose food additive and as an additive to

supply nitrogen in fermentation processes. It is produced by the reaction of

by-product ammonia from coke ovens with sulphuric acid. Ammonium sulphate is a

powerful oxidiser. When heated, the sulphate decomposes at 100 degrees C and

yields ammonium bisulphate. When heated to decomposition, it emits very toxic

fumes of nitrous oxide, ammonia, and sulphur trioxide. Ammonium sulphate is

insoluble in alcohol and acetone. If mixed with oxidisers, ammonium sulphate is

an explosion hazard during a fire. Ammonium sulphate is also known as ammonium

hydrogen sulphate, diammonium sulphate, and sulphuric acid, diammonium salt.


Amniocentesis is a medical procedure sometimes performed during pregnancy to

help determine the health and maturity of an unborn baby. It involves the

withdrawal and study of a small amount of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the

foetus in the mother's uterus. Laboratory tests on the fluid, which contains

cells shed by the foetus, enable detection of many serious disorders that may

affect the foetus. Such disorders include Down's syndrome and spina bifida.

Amniocentesis involves little risk to either the mother or the foetus.

Amniocentesis is mostly performed around the 16th week of pregnancy on 'at

risk' mothers. These include those more than 35 years of age and those with

genetic disorders in the family. If tests reveal serious abnormality, likely to

cause death or pronounced handicap, the parents may choose to end the

pregnancy. Otherwise, doctors can plan ahead for early treatment, either in the

womb or at birth. If there is some medical reason for delivering a baby before

it is due to be born, amniocentesis may be performed later in pregnancy. In

this case, tests show whether the baby is likely to survive outside the womb.

An obstetrician performs amniocentesis with the aid of ultrasound which enables

the obstetrician to monitor the position of the foetus while inserting a long

hollow needle through the mother's abdominal wall and into the uterus. The

obstetrician then withdraws a small amount of amniotic fluid, which is sent

away for testing.

Amoebic dysentery

Amoebic dysentery is an illness caused by the pathogen Entamoeba histolytica

which is transmitted by the fecal-oral route. Cysts are excreted in the faeces

of an infected individual or carrier and ingested through faecally-contaminated

food, water, objects, etc. After excystation, the trophozoites penetrate the

walls of the large intestines causing ulceration and frequently causing the

symptoms of dysentery. Involvement of the liver and other organs may occur if

the protozoan invades the blood.


Amok is a Malay term denoting a sudden frenzy which seizes an individual,

sometimes as a result of intoxicants, but often unaccountably.


Amoroso is a musical term indicating a tender, delicate style.


Amorphous is a term applied to substances devoid of characteristic shape, or of

different properties in different directions, in contradistinction to

crystalline bodies.


see "ampere"


The ampere is the fundamental unit of measurement of electrical current.


An amphitheatre is a circular or ovular arena surrounded by tiers of seats.


An amplifier is an apparatus capable of producing a magnified version of the

input signal.


Amplitude refers to magnitude or size. It is the voltage or power of an

electronic signal.

Amplitude Modulation

Amplitude Modulation is modifying a carrier signal by varying its

instantaneous power to represent the information it carries. Most commonly

called AM.


Amyl is a chemical alcohol radical. It was first isolated by Edward Frankland

in 1849.


Amylene is a colourless, mobile liquid first procured by Balard of Paris in

1844 by distilling fusel oil with chloride of zinc. The vapour was employed

instead of chloroform first by Snow in 1856.


Amylum is an alternative name for starch.


The Anabaptists were a 16th century Christian sect, so called because they

rejected infant baptism in reference of adult baptism. They were a fanatical

sect led by Nicholas Storck who intended reorganisation of German society based

upon civil and political equality.


see "Anabaptist"

Analog Loopback

Analog Loopback (ALB) is connecting a received analog signal to the return

transmitting path; a common test method for locating transmission problems in

data transmission systems.

Analog Signal

An analog signal is a signal in the form of a continuous varying in step with

the actual transmitted information; attempts to transmit an exact replica of

the inputted signal down a communications channel.

Analog Transmission

Analog Transmission is communications by transmission of continuously varying

representations of the input signal, as compared to coded words in digital


Analogue Computer

An analogue computer is a computing device in which the variables in a given

problem are represented by physical quantities, such as lengths, pressures,

electric charges etc., the calculations consisting in the manipulation and

measurement of these quantities, the values of which may change continuously.

Anatomical Alloy

Anatomical alloy is a fusible alloy consisting of 53.5 per cent bismuth, 19

percent tin, 17 per cent lead and 10.5 per cent mercury.


An anchor is a heavy implement used for securing boats at sea.

Anchor Ice

Anchor Ice is a rare phenomena occurring in rivers where the current is too

strong for the formation of ice on the surface, but where ice forms on the

bottom. This ice may encircle a stone or other object (such as a ship's anchor,

hence the name), causing it to float to the surface when sufficient ice has


Ancient Mariner

The Ancient Mariner is a poem by Coleridge, published in 'Lyrical Ballads' in

1798. The idea appears to have been taken from Captain Shelvocke's 'Voyage

Round the World' published in 1757.


Andante is a musical term denoting a movement somewhat slow, graceful, distinct

and soothing.


Andricite is a tradename for anhydrous calcium sulphate.


Androgen is a term embracing any of the male sex hormones, substances that

induce and maintain secondary sex characteristics in males. The principal

androgens are testosterone and androsterone. They are found in the male testes

and adrenal glands, in which they are produced; in the blood, in which they

circulate; and in the urine, in which they are excreted. Androgens function

principally, beginning at puberty, in the stimulation of such secondary sex

characteristics as development of the genital organs and maturation of sperm,

growth of body hair, and changes in the larynx that lower the voice. They also

account for the growth of muscle mass and bone tissue in the developing male.


An anemometer is a device for measuring the strength and velocity of wind. It

was invented by Wolfius in 1709. The hemispherical cup anemometer (still used

today) was invented in 1846 by Robinson and consists of four hemispherical cups

which rotate horizontally with the wind, and a combination of wheels which

record the number of revolutions in a given time.


Angina is sense of suffocating or pain in the chest caused by a lack of blood

being supplied to the heart muscle, thereby causing insufficient oxygen to be

supplied to the heart. The cause of the pain is suspected to be a build-up of

irritant acids in the heart muscle deprived of oxygen, not unlike the ache one

feels in other muscles during and after strenuous exercise.


An angiosperm is a flowering plant in which the seeds are enclosed within an

ovary which ripens into a fruit.

Angle Modulation

Angle Modulation is refers to the change of angle of a signal that occurs in

Frequency Modulation or Phase Modulation communications systems; usually analog.


Anglicanism is a family of Christian churches including the Church of England,

the US Episcopal Church, and those holding the same essential doctrines, that

is the Lambeth Quadrilateral 1888 Holy Scripture as the basis of all doctrine,

the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds, Holy Baptism and Holy Communion, and the

historic episcopate.

Anglo-Japanese Treaty

The Anglo-Japanese Treaty was a treaty signed by Great Britain and Japan on

January 30th 1902, by which the two powers agreed to safeguard their common

interests in China and Korea. In the event of one of them being at war with a

foreign power, the other would maintain a strict neutrality, but would assist

her ally if a second foreign power joined the first. The treaty also stated

that neither party would enter into agreements without the consent of the other

and would confide fully in the other if common interests were endangered. The

treaty was agreed for five years.


Angostura is a flavouring prepared from oil distilled from the bitter, aromatic

bark of either of two South American trees, Galipea officinalis or Cusparia

trifoliata, of the rue family. It is blended with herbs and other flavourings

to give angostura bitters, which was first used as a stomach remedy and is now

used to season food, fruit, and alcoholic drinks. It takes its name from the

port of Angostura (now Ciudad BolĂ­var) in Venezuela.


Angst is an emotional state of anxiety without a specific cause.

Angstrom Unit

The Angstrom Unit is a unit of length employed for the measurement of the

wavelengths of light and X-rays etc.


Anhydride is an oxide of an element or organic radical, capable of combining

with water to form an acid. Nearly all the non-metallic elements, as well as

several of the metallic elements form anhydrides. Thus sulphuric anhydride,

SO3, with water makes sulphuric acid.


In chemistry, anhydrous refers to something which is without water.


Aniline (Phenylamine or amido-benzene) is an oily liquid occurring in coal-tar

and made by the reduction of nitro-benzene and used in the manufacture of

chemicals, dyes and drugs. It was discovered in 1826 by Unverdorben among the

products of distillation of indigo. In 1856 Bechamp obtained it from


Aniline Red

see "Magenta"


An anion is a negatively charged ion which, in an electrolyte or in a

gas-filled space, travels towards the positive electrode or anode.


The anker was a measurement used in Britain and Germany for beer, spirits and

the like. It was equivalent to 8.5 gallons. The Scottish anker contained 20

Scottish pints.


Annatto is a yellow-red colouring obtained from the Aploppas and used for

colouring foods and by the South American Indians as body paint.

Annuity Tax

Annuity tax was a tax levied by Charles I to provide stipends for ministers in

Edinburgh and Montrose, it caused much disaffection and was abolished in 1860,

and other provisions made for the purpose. These proved equally unpopular and

their abolition was provided for by an act passed in 1870.


An anode is the principal positive electrode by which the current leaves an

electrolyte, electron tube etc.


The anorthoscope is an optical apparatus described by Carpenter in 1868. In it

distorted figures lose their distortion when in rapid motion.


Anosmia is the inability to smell.


ANSI is the American National Standards Institute. The official repository of

standards for the USA.

Answer Back

Answer Back is an electrical and/or visual indication to the call originating

end that the call terminating end is on the line. First associated with the

International Telex network, answerbacks are also recommended in CCITT-standard

fax machines and are provided in most PC data communications software packages.


Anthelmintics are remedies which kill or expel intestinal worms. Vermicides

kill the worms, vermifuges expel them.


Anthraquinone is a yellow, crystalline solid obtained by oxidising anthracene

with chromic acid mixture. It is used in the manufacture of alizarin and its



Anthropology is the study of humans as animals.

Anti-Corn Law League

The Anti-Corn Law League was an organisation formed in 1838 with its

headquarters at Manchester, to effect the repeal of the corn laws in Britain.

It was led by Cobden, Bright, Villiers, Joseph Hume and Roebuck. The league

held meetings, oratories and published a paper (the League) and was an

organised, aggressive and effective body. With its objectives achieved by the

royal assent given to repeal the corn laws in 1846 to 1849 the league was



Anti-rentism was a movement amongst the leaseholders of certain counties in New

York State, USA during 1839 to 1847 to resist the feudal dues appertaining to

the Dutch manorial and patroonship rights still remaining, though virtually

abolished in 1775. In 1839 the heirs of one of the largest landowners in Albany

county endeavoured to evict those tenants who had not paid the feudal rents.

The tenants resisted, the movement spread, ant-rent associations were formed

and disturbances occurred. Repressive measures were adopted, and the resistance

was put down. In 1846 feudal tenures of all kinds were abolished, and

agricultural leases were limited to a maximum period of twelve years.

Anti-Vivisection Society

The Anti-Vivisection Society was formed in London in 1876 to oppose vivisection.


Antiarin is a poison exuded by the Upas tree and used by Javan natives for

tipping arrows.


Antimony is a brittle, silver-white, pentavalent metal element with the symbol



Antioxidants are substances that slow the breakdown of nutrients and counteract

the destructive effect of free radicals (chemically reactive compounds) in the

body. There are several types which include vitamins A, E, C complex, and B

complex, the minerals selenium and zinc, and the synthetic compounds BHT and

BHA. Vitamins A, C, and E as well as BHA, and BHT are used as preserving agents

in cosmetics.


An anvil is a block used by metal smiths.

Apache Dance

The apache dance is a fast and violent dance in French vaudeville, supposedly

between a Parisian gangster and his girl.


An aparejo is a kind of American packsaddle made of stuffed leather cushions.


Apartheid is the policy of racial segregation of people. It was first

established in South Africa in 1948 restricting the rights of non-whites and

establishing blacks only homelands.


In photography, an aperture is an opening through which light passes through

the lens to strike the film.


The aphelion is the point at which an object travelling around the sun in an

elliptical orbit is at its furthest from the sun.

Apocrenic Acid

Apocrenic acid is a compound discovered by Berzelius in soil containing rotting

vegetable substances, and in the yellow deposit of chalybeate waters. It is

formed by oxidation of crenic acid.


Apogee is an astronomical term referring to the position in the orbit of the

Moon which is farthest from the Earth. Opposite to Perigee.

Apollo Asteroid

The apollo asteroids are a group of small asteroids whose orbits cross that of

the earth. They were first discovered in 1932 and then lost until 1973.

Apollo Project

The Apollo Project was the US space project to land a person on the moon. It

was achieved by Apollo 11 in July 1969.


Aposiopesis is an abrupt breaking away from a sentence and leaving it

unfinished for the sake of greater effect.

Apostle Spoons

Apostle spoons were spoons with figures of the apostles crowning the handles.

They were given as baptismal presents during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Appalachian Tea

Appalachian Tea (Carolina Tea, Black Drink) is a north American substitute for

traditional tea.

Applause II

The replacement for Draw Applause, Applause II by Ashton Tate is a business

graphics, charting, drawing, and presentation package all in one. It can be

used to create slides, do on screen presentations, or create annotated charts.

The picture Window includes drawing tools such as text, lines, circles, arcs,

boxes, and polygons which can be used to annotate charts or create freehand

illustrations. Images can be copied, moved deleted, rotated, sized, and

stretched. Objects can be customised with fill colours, patterns, and line

widths. A small clip-art library of images is also available. The images are

object-oriented so you can edit the individual elements. The program includes

some interesting and artistic special effects. For example, you can create

colour blends by picking two colours and the starting points for each in an

enclosed area. The product automatically fills the colours so they blend into

the centre of the object you are filling. This creates the illusion of

three-dimensional objects. You can create slide shows with Applause II although

there is no runtime slide show utility. Links can be established between

Applause II and any data file, including Lotus 1-2-3, dBase, any Master

product, or Framework. This means that presentations can be created more easily

and efficiently than if you needed to key data in from scratch.

Appleton Layer

see "F Layer"


Applique is a type of embroidery used to create pictures or patterns by

applying pieces of material to a background fabric.


Aqua is another word for water, now commonly used on cosmetic product

ingredients lists.

Aqua Fortis

see "Nitric Acid"

Aqua Tofana

Aqua Tofana was a poisonous liquid, invented by Teofania di Adamo. After her

death in 1633 her daughter, Giulia Tofana, sold the liquid at Rome and Naples

in vials under the title 'Manna of St Nicholas of Bari'. It was a clear,

colourless, tasteless liquid of which only a very small quantity was sufficient

to produce death under symptoms which did not readily arouse suspicion of



Aquatint is a method of print-making which was popular in the 18th century.

Prints are produced imitating the broad effects of India ink and sepia

drawings. Areas, not lines, are bitten in by dilute acid on a copper plate

covered with black resin on which the design has already been traced. The

process was designed by Abbe St Non in the 18th century and perfected by Jean

Baptiste le Prince also in the 18th century. By the end of the 19th century

aquatint was virtually obsolete except for the tints in some coloured pictures.


An aqueduct is a channel in which water flows by gravity.


Aqueous refers to a solution based upon water.


Araf is the Muslim purgatory, a raised wall of separation between heaven and


Arc Wars

The arc wars were computer "wars" over which archiving program one should use.

The first arc war was sparked when System Enhancement Associates (SEA) sued

PKWare for copyright and trademark infringement on its ARC program. PKWare's

PKARC outperformed ARC on both compression and speed while largely retaining

compatibility (it introduced a new compression type that could be disabled for

backward-compatibility). PKWare settled out of court to avoid enormous legal

costs (both SEA and PKWare are small companies); as part of the settlement, the

name of PKARC was changed to PKPAK. The public backlash against SEA for

bringing suit helped to hasten the demise of ARC as a standard when PKWare and

others introduced new, incompatible archivers with better compression



The archeozoic period was the first geological period. It was characterised by

an absence of animal life and extensive volcanic activity.

Archers Ales

Archers Ales is an English beer brewing company of Wiltshire. They were

established in 1979.


An archipelago is a group of islands.


Arcnet is a LAN architecture developed by Datapoint Corporation featuring low

cost for connection of groups of (Async) terminals to a (mini) computer within

a premises.


The are is a French measurement of one square meter.

Area Code

Area Code is colloquial term for a three digit number identifying one of more

than 150 geographic areas of North America providing for Direct Distance

Dialling on the public telephone network system. This entire system of numbers

is under the umbrella of Country Code 01 in the World Numbering Plan of the



An areometer is an instrument for measuring the density and specific gravity of



An arete is a steep angular mountain ridge.


Argon is a colourless, odourless, gaseous element found in the air and volcanic

gases, and is used especially as a filler for electric bulbs and electron

tubes. It has the symbol Ar.


Aries is one of the signs of the zodiac. Represented by the ram.


Armagnac is a deep-coloured brandy named after the district of Armagnac in

Gascony, South-West France, where it is produced.


An armature is a part of an electrical motor or dynamo.


Armour is a protective covering.


Arms is a military term referring to weapons.


An army is an organised fighting force.


Arq is telegraphic code signal for "Automatic Repeat Request," a time-honoured

method of telegraphic error correction upon which most data transmission error

correction is based. ARQ receivers check for errors and initiate an order to

retransmit data blocks determined to be corrupted in transmission.


Arroba was a Spanish unit of weight equal to about 25 lbs. It was also used in

South and Central America, where it was equivalent to about 32 lbs.


An arsenal is a place for storing weapons.


Arshin is a Russian unit of measurement equivalent to 28 inches.


Artane is a tradename for trihexyphenidyl hydrochloride


ASCII is the American Standard Code for Information Interchange.

The most common code used for asynchronous data transmission by minicomputers

and personal computers. Derived from the TWX code of the Bell Model 28

teleprinter, expanded to use all possible character combinations. ASCII

consists of 7 information bits with an 8th parity bit for error checking;

numerous variations exist, for example use of the 8th bit in personal computers

to extend the code with a number of graphics, special language characters and

diacritical marks. Many common carrier data services cannot transmit the 8th

bit needed to use that common PC extension of ASCII's alphabet.

Ascorbic acid

see "Vitamin c"

Ash Vine

Ash Vine is an English beer brewing company of Somerset. They were established

in 1987.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is the first day of lent, the seventh Wednesday before Easter.


Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), is an artifical sweetner made up primarily of

two amino acids. Some people have reported adverse behavioral effects

(dizziness, hallucinations, headache) after drinking diet soda, but such

reports have not been confirmed in controlled studies.


Asphalt is a material used for road coverings.


Aspirin is an analgesic.


ASR is telegraphic name for an "Automatic Send/Receive" terminal station,

typically one that has storage for outbound messages and holds them until

called upon by the communications network to send.


Assay is the testing of an alloy or an ore to determine the proportion of a

given metal. An assay officer is someone who certifies the fineness of gold,

silver and platinum.

Assize of Battle

Assize of Battle was by the old law of England, a means whereby a man charged

with murder might fight with the appellant, thereby to make proof of his guilt

or innocence. The law was struck off the statute book in 1819.


Astatine is a radioactive halogen element which was discovered by bombarding

bismuth with alpha particles and is also released by radioactive decay. It has

the symbol At.


Astern is a nautical term meaning behind the ship.


An asteroid is a minor planetary body.


Astrology is the science of the relationship between events and the stars.


Astronomy is the study of celestial bodies.


Asynchronous refers to occurring without central control or in an unpredictable

time interval between successive elements; the typical mode of telegraphy,

minicomputers and personal computers; requires s transmission of start and

stop bits to provide decoding synchronisation at the receiver.


Atmolysis is a method of separating the constituent gases of a compound gas

(such as air) by causing it to pass through a vessel of porous material (such

as graphite). The process was discovered by Graham and made known in 1863.


The atmosphere is the gaseous envelope surrounding a planet, such as that which

surrounds the earth which is comprised of nitrogen, oxygen, argon carbon

dioxide, helium, water vapour and other gases.


An atoll is a circular, or horseshoe-shaped coral island surrounding a lagoon

with one or more openings to the sea.


An atom is the smallest quantity of a chemical element which can enter into

combination or take part in a chemical reaction.

Atomic number

In chemistry, an atomic number is a number, characteristic of an atom, that

represents the number of protons in the nucleus of the atom. It indicates the

location of an element in the periodic table.

Atomic weight

In chemistry, atomic weight is the relative weight of an atom referred to

carbon, whose weight has been arbitrarily set at 12.01115.


see "atom"


The atrium was the entrance hall to a Roman house.


Atropine is the poisonous alkaloid found in deadly nightshade.


Attar (Otto of Roses) is a perfume which consists of the volatile or essential

oil distilled from certain varieties of rose.


Attenuation is a term denoting a decrease in power between that transmitted and

that received due to loss through equipment, lines, or other transmission

devices. Usually expressed as a ratio in dB (decibels). - Synonym: Loss;

Antonym: Gain


In electronics, an attenuator is a network used to deliberately reduce the

input signal to some piece of apparatus, or to reduce the degree of

amplification of signals of particular frequencies.


see "tarot Cards"

Aucassin et Nicolette

Aucassin et Nicolette is a celebrated French romance of the 12th century,

written in alternate prose and assonant verse of seven syllables. It recounts

the love of Aucassin, son of the Count of Beaucaire, for Nicolette, the captive

daughter of the king of Carthage.


An audiometer is a device for measuring the sense of hearing. It was invented

by Professor Hughes in 1879.


The audiphone was an early hearing-aid invented by Rhodes and improved in 1880

by Colladon. It consisted of a thin sheet of hard ebonite rubber or cardboard

placed next to the teeth through which and other bones sound vibrations are

conveyed to the auditory nerve.


The month of august was the sixth month of the Roman calendar and was

originally called Sextilis, by a decree of the senate it received its present

name in honour of Augustus Caesar in 8 BC.


see "Ell"


AutoCAD Release 10 is a two and three-dimensional computer aided drafting and

design system. The product lets you define screens and optional pull-down menus

and create parts libraries by drawing them, so the system can be geared to a

specific requirement. The product is a general-purpose system suitable for a

wide variety of applications including architectural and landscape drawings;

drafting for mechanical, electrical, chemical, structural, and civil

engineering; and printed circuit design. Drawing and editing features include

move, copy, modify, dimension, scale, mirror, hatch, rotate, fill, and erase

objects in a drawing. Repetitive patterns such as brick walls, memory arrays,

or office components can be generated automatically. Colours and an unlimited

number of layers may be used, allowing selective viewing or plotting of

drawings as if on transparent overlays. The full bidirectional zoom facility

allows you to work at any level of detail. The ratio between the largest and

smallest objects in a drawing can be over a trillion to one. An alignment grid

can be displayed. Distances and areas can be calculated and displayed.

Three-dimensional drawing capability, AutoCAD's most notable feature, lets you

represent an object so it can be seen from any angle. AutoCAD Release 10 also

features associative dimensioning, which automatically updates the dimensions

of a drawing whenever an object is scaled, stretched, or rotated. Release 10

allows you to construct objects in CAD much as you would build a structure. The

approach is modular; that is, each piece of the final drawing is created as a

separate object. To build an office building, you define the plane for the

front of the building, move to that plane or a view of that plane to draw, then

move to the side defining a new plane, and soon until a complete two or

three-dimensional structure stands. An analogy to drafting does not work

because a drafting table cannot be situated in a three-dimensional plane.


lease 10 supports the Intel Above Board, which increases the speed at which

large, complex drawings can be created and edited. It supports the Initial

Graphics Exchange Standard (ICES, Version 2.0) for both input and output, so

translations can be made between AutoCAD Release 10 and other systems

supporting IGES. You can transfer AutoCAD Release 10 drawing files among four

operating systems: PC or MS DOS, Sun UNIX, DEC VMS, and Apollo AEGIS.

Autodesk Animator

Autodesk Animator is an animation program that lets you create desktop videos

for promotion and training. The program includes a number of animation

techniques, painting functions, text effects, and file-import capabilities that

provide a workbench for creating impressive diskette-based presentations.

Autodesk Animator incorporates five types of animation. Each is specifically

designed to make creating and displaying animation sequences as impressive and

easy as possible. The program provides traditional cell-by-cell animation

capabilities. This technique displays a sequence of individual cells or images

in rapid succession resulting in movement. Optical animation is best suited for

animations where objects swoop across the screen. This technique uses complex

combinations of spline paths and full 3D transformations along with other

optical functions to maximise this type of effect. Polymorphic tweening is an

animation technique used to blend between two completely different shapes. It

can be combined with optical animation to add threedimensional effects. Colour

cycling transforms the colour of various screen locations. Titling provides

full text animation for incorporating text in any part of a desktop video.

Titling effects include multiple-direction scrolling and type-on, where each

letter of words appears in rapid succession. Paint functions combine image

processing inks with over 20 tools for detailed image creation and editing. The

image processing inks affect the dispersion and quality of onscreen colours.

The inks can be applied to saturate, strengthen, and define colours and create

effects such as opaque, soften, gloss, glaze, emboss, scrape-through, sheen,

and highlight. The combination of Animator's painting tools and image

processing inks lets you control the sharpness, illumination, intensity, and

glow of on-screen presentation colours more effectively than with any other PC



Autoroute is a map information system built using data from Ordnance Survey. It

allows quick planning of the most suitable route between points in Great

Britain. To use Autoroute, the user first needs to tell the package the

travelling speed of the vehicle. Then, enter the start point and the desired

destination, along with other places to visit - or places to avoid. Autoroute

will calculate the quickest and the shortest routes, which can be displayed as

a colour map and then printed. A set of written directions can also be printed,

including such detail as "At Gillette Comer, turn left onto A310 to Richmond."

The estimated journey time and total mileage are also calculated.


AutoSketch is software for drawing. As easy to use as painting software, it

includes many CAD features. However, unlike typical painting software,

AutoSketch keeps track of objects. This means that shapes do not get lost in a

sea of dots. When an object is manipulated, it maintains its integrity as a

complete unit. The product was designed for users with less demanding drawing

requirements such as office layouts, simple technical drawings, and flowcharts.

AutoSketch is the best starting point for individuals who may be interested in

upgrading to AutoCAD later. In addition, AutoCAD users may find AutoSketch

useful in the early drawing stages. AutoSketch can draw lines, arcs, circles,

points, polygons and spline curves (free-form shapes). All basic drawing shapes

can be moved, copied, stretched, rotated, mirrored, or scaled. For example, by

pointing and clicking, you can create an office layout where walls and

furniture can be moved or adjusted on-screen. AutoSketch uses a mouse with

pull-down menus and dialog boxes. AutoSketch includes other CAD features such

as dimensioning and measuring, snap and ortho alignment, layers, and line

types. Text can be added at any point, at any angle, and can be any height or

width. AutoSketch also allows you to insert another AutoSketch drawing, so you

can create a library of objects for future use.


Auxin is a hormone that promotes stem and root growth in plants. Auxins

influence many aspects of plant growth and development, including cell

enlargement, inhibition of development of axillary buds, tropisms, and the

initiation of roots. Synthetic auxins are used in rooting powders for cuttings,

and in some weedkillers, where high auxin concentrations cause such rapid

growth that the plants die. They are also used to prevent premature fruitdrop

in orchards. The most common naturally occurring auxin is known as indoleacetic

acid, or IAA. It is produced in the shoot apex and transported to other parts

of the plant.


Avenin is a stimulating nitrogenous alkaloid found in oats.


The Lithuanian game Avinas ("Rams" in English) is a trick-taking card game for

two pairs of players. Each player sits opposite his partner. It is especially

popular around the town of Jurbarkas (on the river Niemen, between Kaunas and

the western border). On holidays players left off playing only to go to Mass.


Avobenzone is a sunscreen ingredient that protects against ultraviolet A (UVA)


Avogadro's law

In chemistry, Avogadro's law is the law which states that equal volumes of all

gases, at the same temperature and pressure, contain the same number of



The avoirdupois scale is a measurement of weight.


Awk is a UNIX interpreted language for massaging text data developed by Alfred

Aho, Peter Weinberger, and Brian Kernighan (the name is from their initials).

It is characterised by a C-like syntax, a declaration-free approach to variable

typing and declarations, associative arrays, and field-oriented text processing.


An axe is a metal tool for chopping and cleaving.

Axis PC

The Axis PC is a computer from Atlantic Systems based upon the 333mhz Intel

Celeron Processor and supplied with 64 mb of RAM, a 4.3 gb hard drive, an ATI 4

mb 3d AGP graphics card, CD-ROM player, sound card, 3.5 inch floppy disk drive

and a 56K voice and fax modem.


In chemistry, an azide is a compound containing the monovalent group -N3 or the

monovalent ion N3-.


Azilian describes a Palaeolithic culture of Spain and Southwest France that can

be dated to the 10th millennium BC. It is characterised by flat bone harpoons

and schematically painted pebbles.


In chemistry, an azine is any organic compound having a six-membered ring

containing at least one nitrogen atom.


Azobenzene is a yellow or orange crystalline solid used mainly in the

manufacture of dyes. It has the formula C6H5N:NC6H5.


Azoimide is a compound of hydrogen and nitrogen. It is a very explosive gas

obtained from organic sources such as benzoyl-glycollic acid and hippuric acid.

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