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.

thermophysics
The study of physical phenomena within the context of heat.
thermophyte
1. A plant tolerant of, or thriving at, high temperatures.
2. A hot-spring plant.
3. A plant that survives the winter as a seed and completes its life cycle between the spring and autumn.
thermopile
1. A thermoelectric battery, consisting usually of a series of bars of antimony and bismuth joined together, which generates a thermoelectric current when the junctions are heated; used as a thermoscope.
2. An array of thermocouples connected in parallel, having greater sensitivity than a single thermocouple; used for converting radiant energy into electrical energy, and for detecting and measuring radiant energy.
thermoplacentography
Now considered an obsolete method for determination of placental position by detection of infrared rays from the large amounts of blood flowing through the placenta.
thermoplastic
1. A classification for materials (textile fibers and resins) that can be made soft by the application of heat and hardened upon cooling.
2. Softening under heat and capable of being molded into shape with pressure, then hardening when cooled without undergoing chemical changes.
3. A polymer in which the molecules are held together by weak secondary bonding forces that can be softened and melted by heat, then shaped or formed before being allowed to solidify again.
thermoplegia
A rarely used term for "sunstroke" or "heatstroke" (thermic fever).
Thermopolis
A town located in Hot Springs County, Wyoming.

As might be expected from its name and the name of its county, Thermopolis is home to numerous natural hot springs, in which mineral-laden waters are heated by geothermal processes.

It claims the world's largest mineral hot springs as part of "Hot Springs State Park".

The springs are open to the public for free as part of an 1896 treaty signed with the Shoshone and Arapaho Indian tribes.

thermopolium
Directly from Latin, a place where warm drinks are sold.
thermopoly
1. The selling of hot meat.
2. The keeping of a thermopolion; a public house of antiquity where hot liquors were sold.
thermopolypnea
1. A quickening of respiration due to great heat or high temperatures.
2. An increased rate of pulmonary respiration due to pyrexia.
3. Rapid breathing due to heat.
thermopoto
Directly from Latin: to refresh with warm drinks.
thermoradiotherapy
1. A therapeutic treatment which applies ionizing radiation (making particles that are electrically charged, positive or negative) to any part of the body in which the temperature has been raised by artificial means.

Thermoradiography is done in an attempt to increase the radiosensitivity (sensitivity, as of the skin, tumor tissue, etc., to radiant energy; such as, x-rays or other radiations) of the body part being treated.

2. A method of treatment that combines the use of ionizing radiation and heat.

It is based on the hypothesis that heat increases the radiosensitivity of tissues.

thermoreception
1. The response of certain differentiated body cells to a rise or fall in body temperature.
2. In entomology, behavior responding to changes in temperature; for example, worker honeybees responding to hotter than usual temperatures by beating their wings to cool the hive.
thermoreceptor
1. Any nerve ending or other sensory receptor that is specifically sensitive to heat or a rise in body temperature, or cold.
2. A sensory receptor, usually a nerve ending in the skin, that is stimulated by heat or cold.
thermoregulation, thermoregulator
1. Temperature control, as by a thermostat; heat regulation.
2. The regulation and control of temperature, specifically internal body temperature.
3. The control of heat production and heat loss, specifically the maintenance of body temperature through physiological mechanisms activated by the hypothalamus (a neural control center at the base of the brain, concerned with hunger, thirst, and other autonomic functions).
4. The various physiological processes by which the body regulates its internal temperature.

The process by which an organism regulates its internal body temperature which takes place by means of various physiological processes but can also involve behavior; such as, moving away from a condition of extreme heat or cold.

The two most common forms are ectothermic and endothermic regulation.


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-.