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.

An area in a permafrost region characterized by an irregular land surface as a result of the melting of ground ice.
1. A procedure to correct myopia (near sightedness) by applying heat to flatten the cornea. The heat shrinks the collagen (protein substance of the white fibers) in the substantia propria layer (transparent fibrous connective tissue) of the cornea.
2. A system in which the application of heat shrinks the collagen of the corneal stroma and flattens the cornea in the area of heat application. This tends to make the eye less myopic.
thermokinematics, thermokinematic
1. The study of motion caused by heat.
2. The study of the motion or motive power of heat.
thermolabile, heat labile
1. Subject to alteration or destruction by heat.
2. Unstabilized or destroyed when exposed to high temperatures.
3. Easily altered, destroyed, or decomposed by heat.
A heating lamp for therapeutic use.
A laryngoscopic mirror heated electrically to prevent condensation.
thermology, thermotics
1. The science of heat.
2. The study of heat and heat associated phenomena.
thermoluminescence (s) (noun), thermoluminescences (pl)
Glowing factors resulting from exposure to high temperatures: The stones from the cave produced a green thermoluminescence as a reaction to the heat that was applied to them.
thermoluminescent (adjective), more thermoluminescent, most thermoluminescent
Descriptive of the production of incandescence by a substance when its temperature is increased: Thermoluminescent reactions take place when certain substances have been exposed to the action of X-rays.

By measuring the amount of thermoluminescent gleaming that is given off, the duration of exposure to radiation can be determined; so, it has been used to determine the age of various minerals and archaeological artifacts.

thermoluminescent dating (s) (noun), thermoluminescent datings (pl)
In archaeology, a method of dating by measuring the rate of release of luminous energy from an object; often used to establish the date when a pottery artifact was last heated in antiquity: Dr. Spicer used the process of thermoluminescent dating to determine the approximate age of the ancient pottery shards, or pieces, which he brought back from his archeological diggings.
thermoluminescent dosimetry, TLD (s) (noun), (no plural form)
1. A method of measuring the ionizing emissions to which a person is exposed by means of a device that contains a radiant sensitive crystalline material: Thermoluminescent dosimetry stores the radiation's energy by changing the structure and then when the material is heated at some later time, it releases the energy as ultraviolet or visible light.

Because of her work in the X-ray department at the hospital, Ms. Smith frequently used the thermoluminescent dosimetry device to ensure that she remained uncontaminated by the radioactive emissions.

2. The determination of the amount of lucidity to which a material has been exposed: Usually thermoluminescent dosimetry is accomplished by heating the material in a specially designed instrument which relates the amount of luminescence coming from the material to the amount of exposure.

Ionizing radiation; such as, x rays, alpha rays, beta rays, and gamma rays, remains undetectable by the senses, and the damage it causes to the body is cumulative, depending on the total dosage of thermoluminescent dosimetry received.

Dr. Jonas used the thermoluminescent dosimetry concept to obtain an estimation of the amount of radioactive elements to which the X-ray staff might have received.

1. Loss, or dissipation, of bodily heat by evaporation, radiation, etc.
2. Chemical decomposition by heat.
3. The breakdown of a substance induced by heating it.
1. Relating to thermolysis.
2. A reference to an agent promoting heat dissipation.
A reference to magnetism that is changed or generated by the action of heat.
1. A massage given in combination with a deep or superficial application of heat when used in physical therapy.
2. Physical therapy technique using both heat and massage.

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-.