ETYM back , n . + bone.
1. The bone running down the back of vertebrate animal; the spine.
2. A computer network that connects other computer networks.
3. (Informal) Fortitude; SYN. grit, guts, sand, gumption.
The state or fact of existing:; SYN. beingness, existence.
In philosophy, the basic state of existence shared by everything and everybody. Being is a fundamental notion in ontology and metaphysics generally, but particularly in idealism and existentialism.
Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle insisted that to say something exists adds nothing to its description. Being or existence is sometimes distinguished from subsistence, as by Austrian philosopher Alexius Meinong (1853–1920). Idealist philosophers tend to believe that there are not only different kinds but also different degrees of being. The American Willard Quine holds that “to be is to be the value of a variable” in a system of formal logic—that is, that to be or exist is always to have a quality or feature. The ontological argument for the existence of God turns on whether being can be a predicate or property.
ETYM French distillation, Latin destillatio.
Technique used to purify liquids or to separate mixtures of liquids possessing different boiling points. Simple distillation is used in the purification of liquids (or the separation of substances in solution from their solvents) —for example, in the production of pure water from a salt solution.
The solution is boiled and the vapors of the solvent rise into a separate piece of apparatus (the condenser) where they are cooled and condensed. The liquid produced (the distillate) is the pure solvent; the non-volatile solutes (now in solid form) remain in the distillation vessel to be discarded as impurities or recovered as required. Mixtures of liquids (such as petroleum or aqueous ethanol) are separated by fractional distillation, or fractionation. When the mixture is boiled, the vapors of its most volatile component rise into a vertical fractionating column where they condense to liquid form. However, as this liquid runs back down the column it is reheated to boiling point by the hot rising vapors of the next-most-volatile component and so its vapors ascend the column once more. This boiling-condensing process occurs repeatedly inside the column, eventually bringing about a temperature gradient along its length. The vapors of the more volatile components therefore reach the top of the column and enter the condenser for collection before those of the less volatile components. In the fractional distillation of petroleum, groups of compounds (fractions) possessing similar molecular weights and boiling points are tapped off at different points on the column. The earliest-known reference to the process is to the distillation of wine in the 12th century by Adelard of Bath. The chemical retort used for distillation was invented by Muslims, and was first seen in the West about 1570.
The process of boiling a liquid and condensing its vapors; SYN. distillment.
ETYM Late Lat. entitas, from Latin ens, entis, thing, prop. p. pr. of esse to be: cf. French entité. Related to Essence, Is.
Anything having existence (living or nonliving); SYN. something.
ETYM French essence, Latin essentia, formed as if from a p. pr. of esse to be. Related to Is, Entity.
Any substance possessing to a high degree the predominant properties of a plant or drug or other natural product from which it is extracted.
In philosophy, all that makes a thing what it is and is indispensable to the thing. Philosophers have often distinguished nominal essences from real essences. A nominal essence is a group of terms used to define a concept: thus, the nominal essence of the concept of a horse could be “anything that neighs and has a mane and four legs”. A real essence is either a group of universals objectively given in nature (this is also called a form) or (as in the work of John Locke) the underlying structure of an object; for example, its atomic structure.
1. Something basic
2. Something necessary, indispensable, or unavoidable
ETYM Old Fren. giste abode, lodgings, French gîte, from gésir to lie, Latin jacere, prop., to be thrown, hence, to lie, from jacere to throw.
The general idea.
ETYM Latin, from Greek, subsistence, substance; hypo under + histasthai to stand. Related to Hypo-, and Stand.
1. (Metaphysics) Essential nature or underlying reality.
2. Any of the three persons of the Godhead constituting the Trinity especially the person of Christ in which divine and human natures are united.
3. The accumulation of blood in an organ.
4. The suppression of a gene by the effect of an unrelated gene; SYN. epistasis.
5. Basis; foundation; essence.
Support; hypostatised substance; essential substance; Medicine, sediment; hyperemia of an organ; Theology, substance of the Trinity; person of the Trinity; whole personality of Christ.
1. The inmost, best, or essential part; core
2. (chiefly Scottish) One of a pair
ETYM French, from Latin natura, from natus born, produced, p. p. of nasci to be born. Related to Nation.
1. A causal agent creating and controlling things in the universe.
2. A wild primitive state untouched by civilization; SYN. wild, natural state, state of nature.
3. The complex of emotional and intellectual attributes that determine a person's characteristic actions and reactions.
4. The essential qualities or characteristics by which something is recognized.
The living world, including plants, animals, fungi, and all microorganisms, and naturally formed features of the landscape, such as mountains and rivers.
Historically the word “nature” has had a multiplicity of meanings, which can conveniently be reduced to two. Firstly, it refers to the essence or innate quality of a thing—that which makes it what it is. An example of this would be human nature—the universal characteristics that are common to all people. Secondly, it refers to the material world and to those phenomena that function independently of humans. This definition of nature is often contrasted with the artificial and the conventional; that is, with human modifications of the natural order of things.
Whether nature is superior or inferior to human uses and transformations of it has long been debated. Many have believed that there was a time when people and nature were part of one harmonious whole. Christians identify this period with Adam and Eve’s life before the Fall. For the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Romantics, a pure state of nature could still be found in the behavior of animals, children, and “noble savages”. Such diverse figures as the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes and the 19th-century us thinker Henry Thoreau have attempted to abandon the human world and return to a more natural state. Similar ideas can be found in the ecological movement, which has attacked the spoliation of nature by industry.
In earlier times the natural was also contrasted with the supernatural: the sublunary world, which followed ultimately predictable laws, with the superlunary world—the world of the ideal and the spiritual. In Europe in the Middle Ages a further distinction was made between the passive, created world, natura naturata, and the active physical force that created it, natura naturans. Such a force was often personified; as gods like Persephone and Gaia by the ancient Greeks, and later as Mother Nature. The Romantics, exemplified by the poetry of Wordsworth, venerated this notion of nature as an active presence in the world.
1. A small lump or protuberance.
2. A small piece; or; SYN. stub.
ETYM as. pitha; akin to Dutch pit pith, kernel, lg. peddik. Related to Pit a kernel.
1. A usually continuous central strand of spongy tissue in the stems of most vascular plants that probably functions chiefly in storage.
2. Soft spongelike central cylinder of the stems of most flowering plants.
3. The soft or spongy interior of a part of the body.
4. The essential part; core; substantial quality (as of meaning).
ETYM Late Lat. quidditas, from Latin quid what, neut. of quis who, akin to Eng. who: cf. French quiddité.
1. The essence, nature, or distinctive peculiarity, of a thing; that which answers the question, Quid est? or, What is it?
2. A trifling distinction; a quibble.
Unique essence; eccentricity.
Quintessence; equivocation; triviality.
ETYM French, from Latin quinta essentia fifth essence. Related to Quint, and Essence.
1. The purest and most concentrated essence of something.
2. The most typical example or representative of a type.
3. (Archaic) The fifth and highest element after air and earth and fire and water; was believed to be the substance composing all heavenly bodies; SYN. ether.