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.

thermopegology
The scientific study of thermal springs.
thermopenetration (s) (noun), thermopenetrations (pl)
The application of currents of low tension and high amperage, that produce warmth in the deeper parts of the body; also known as, medical diathermy: "Diathermy", or thermopenetration, is the heating of the bodily tissues resulting from their resistance to the passage of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation, electric currents, or ultrasonic waves.

In medical thermopenetration, the tissues are heated but not damaged; however, in surgical diathermy (electrocoagulation) tissue is destroyed because of the use of a high-frequency electric current to bring about the coagulation and destruction of such tissue.

thermoperiodic (adjective), more thermoperiodic, most thermoperiodic
Referring to the response of an organism to a portion of time in which there are changes in heat levels: "There are a variety of responses by plants to thermoperiodic cycles or temperature fluctuations."
thermoperiodism
The phenomenon shown by certain plants; such as, chrysanthemum and tomato, in which there is a response to alternating periods of low and high temperatures.

Such plants will flower earlier and more profusely if subjected to low night and high day temperatures.

thermophagy
1. The consumption (eating) of cooked-hot food.
2. The habit of swallowing very hot food.
3. A craving for very hot food.
thermophil
1. An organism that favors, or prefers, a temperature of 50°C or higher.
2. Thriving in warm environmental conditions; a reference to microorganisms having an optimum for growth above 45°C.
3. An organism requiring high temperatures for normal development.
thermophilic
1. A reference to growing best at or having a fondness for high temperatures.
2. Literally, heat-loveing; describing certain microorganisms (thermophiles) whose optimal growth occurs at temperatures of 50°C or more.

Thermophilic bioprocesses can be employed as an energy source.

3. Describing microorganisms that require high temperatures (around 60 degrees centigrade) for growth.

It is exhibited by certain bacteria that grow in hot springs or compost and manure.

thermophily
In biology, thriving in warm environmental conditions; a reference to micro-organisms having an optimum for growth above 45 degrees Centigrade; usually a reference to certain bacteria.
thermophobia (s) (noun) (no plural)
1. An excessive hatred of heat: Some people who suffer from thermophobia feel terribly uncomfortable in hot regions and sweat immoderately, besides getting a headache.
2. Intolerance of high temperatures: Polar bears live mainly within the Arctic Circle, and love the sea ice covering the waters, and the bear would not survive in hot areas at all and is therefore totally affected by thermophobia!
thermophone
In acoustical engineering, a transducer that converts electrical energy (produced by driving an alternating current superimposed on a direct current) into heat by the dissipation of energy in a resistive element, thereby producing sound.
thermophore
1. An arrangement for applying heat to a body part; which consists of a water heater, a tube conveying hot water to a coil, and another tube conducting the water back to the heater.
2. A flat bag containing certain salts that produce heat when moistened; used as a substitute for a hot-water bag.
3. An instrument for estimating heat sensibility as applied locally to a body part.
thermophotovoltaic cell (TPV)
A device concentrating sunlight onto a absorber that heats it to a high temperature.

The thermal radiation emitted by the absorber is used as the energy source for a photovoltaic cell that is designed to maximize conversion efficiency at the wavelength of the thermal radiation.

thermophylactic
Heat-resistant; tolerant of high temperatures.
thermophylic
Resistant to the destructive action of heat; said of certain microorganisms.
thermophyllous
Leaves (plants) that have a high tolerance to high temperatures.

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-.