thermo-, therm-, thermi-, -thermia, -therm, -thermal, -thermic, -thermias, -thermies, -thermous, -thermy

(Greek: heat, heating, heater, hot, warm)

The term heat is employed in ordinary language in different senses. Some scientists distinguish four principal applications of the term:

  1. Sensation of heat.
  2. Temperature, or degree of hotness.
  3. Quantity of thermal energy.
  4. Radiant heat, or energy of radiation.

thermally activated technologies (TATs)
A diverse group of devices employed to transform heat for a useful purpose; such as, energy recovery, heating, cooling, humidity control, or thermal storage.
thermally sensitive resistor (s) (noun), thermally sensitive resistors (pl)
A device that can be used to measure temperature and to track their changes: Some new homes are being built with thermally sensitive resistors attached to the heating and cooling systems in order to monitor them and hopefully to better control the use of energy.
thermammeter
A device whereby the ampere-strength of an electric current is measured by the quantity of heat that it generates.
thermanalgesia
Loss of temperature sense or of the ability to distinguish between heat and cold; insensibility to heat or to temperature changes.

A standard test of pain response involves applying heat to the skin, and most of us perceive pain when the skin reaches an average critical temperature of 113 degrees F (45 degrees C), and everyone, with the exception of people with serious sensory dysfunction, perceives pain before his or her skin reaches a temperature of 116.6 degrees F (47 degrees C).

Even though there are three to four times fewer heat receptors than cold receptors in the human skin, freezing cold and burning hot sensation are both experienced exactly the same. Indeed, at 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) both the cold and heat pain nerve endings are stimulated, and after a point, there is no reason to make fine distinctions—all the brain has to know is that it is very painful!

—Neil McAleer in The Body Almanac;
Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1985; page 60.
thermanesthesia, thermanaesthesia, thermoanesthesia (s) (noun); thermanesthesias, thermanaesthesias, thermoanesthesias (pl)
1. The inability to distinguish between heat and cold: A newborn child is a good example of an individual who experiences thermanesthesia and cannot distinguish between hot and cold.
2. Absence or loss of heat-perception; insensibility to heat: As a result of nerve damage in her hand, Quincy had thermanesthesia and so she had to be very careful when working in the kitchen.
thermantic
1. That which promotes warmth; heating, calefacient.
2. A heating medicine, a calefacient; medicines that cause heat.
thermatology
1. The branch of therapeutics concerned with the application of heat.
2. The treatment of disease by heat, or specifically by thermal baths.
3. The scientific study of heat as a therapeutic agent.
therme
An obsolete form of therm.
thermefy
An obsolete term meaning "to chafe" or "to make one hot with outrageous eating and drinking hot things".
thermelometer
An electric thermometer, especially used for recording slight variations of temperature.
thermesthesiometer, thermaesthesiometer (s) (noun); thermesthesiometers, thermaesthesiometers
An instrument for measuring sensibility to heat: Dr. Rogan pursued his efforts to develop a new thermesthesiometer to use in the farming industry.
thermhyperesthesia (s) (noun), thermhyperesthesias (pl)
Excessive sensitiveness to high temperatures: Janice thought she would enjoy living in the desert; however, her thermhyperesthesia made it impossible for her to make such a move.
thermhypesthesia, thermohypesthesia, thermohypoesthesia (s) (noun); thermhypesthesias, thermohypesthesias, thermohypoesthesias (pl)
Diminished sensitivity to hot or cold stimuli: As a result of his thermhypesthesia, Clarence was able to hike for miles on a cold day and still be comfortable.

Hans was sweating less than usual when he was climbing up the mountain which suggested that he was experiencing thermhypesthesia.

thermic
1. Of or pertaining to heat.
2. Of the nature of heat; thermal.
thermic fever, heat hyperpyrexia
1. Heat stroke resulting from the prolonged exposure to the sun, characterized by extreme pyrexia, prostration, convulsion, and coma.
2. A severe and often fatal illness produced by exposure to excessively high temperatures; especially, when it is related to significant physical exertion.

It is usually experienced with elevated body temperature, lack of sweating, hot dry skin, and neurologic symptoms; including unconsciousness, paralysis, headache, vertigo, and/or confusion. In severe cases, very high fever, vascular collapse, and coma also develop.


Quiz You can find self-scoring quizzes over many of the words in this subject area by going to this Thermo- Vocabulary Quizzes page.

Related "heat, hot" word units: ferv-; pyreto-.

Related "bubble" word unit: ebulli-.