General English

General Science


  • noun the period when a female animal will allow mating.


  • The form of energy inherent in the motion of atoms or molecules, measured in British thermal units, and transferred automatically (wherever temperature differences exist) from warmer to cooler bodies, areas, or elements by conduction, convection, or radiation.


  • The non-mechanical form of energy which is transferred between bodies or regions at different temperatures which are in contact with each other. Heat is transferred from a hotter body or region to a colder body or region. Such regions may also be within the same body. Heat can be transferred via conduction, convection, or radiation. The SI unit for heat is the joule, and other units often utilized are the calorie, and British thermal unit. Also called heat energy, or thermal energy.


  • noun the spiciness of food


  • noun
    (written as HEAT)
    an anti-tank projectile with a shaped-charge warhead
  • acronym forhigh explosive anti-tank
    (written as HEAT)


  • noun the police. A black street form of the early 1960s (using the image of heat as pressure, oppression, something stifling) which was adopted by hippies. ‘The heat’s on the street!’ was a warning among black communities and white activists alike.


  • noun one of several preliminary rounds before a race or contest, especially one in which competitors are eliminated, or one that determines players’ starting order for the main event

Origin & History of “heat”

From an etymological point of view, heat is simply ‘hotness’ – that is, the adjective hot with an abstract noun suffix added to it. But the addition took place a long time ago, in the prehistoric ancestor of Old English. The suffix *-īn ‘state, condition’ was tacked on to the adjective *khaitaz ‘hot’ to produce *khaitīn, which eventually became modern English heat. The verb heat is equally ancient, and was independently formed from *khiataz (het, as in ‘het up’, comes from a dialectal form of its past participle).