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tabard A short coat, either sleeveless, or with short sleeves or shoulder pieces, which was a common item of men's clothing in the Middle Ages, usually for outdoors. It might be belted, or not. Tabards might be emblazoned on the front and back with a coat of arms, and in this (livery) form they survive now as the distinctive garment of officers of arms in heraldry.
tabernacle 1. In the Old Testament, the portable tent used before the construction of the temple, where the shekinah (presence of God) was believed to dwell. 2. A sukkah, the booth or 'tabernacle' used during the Jewish Feast of Sukkot.
tabes dorsalis A late manifestation of untreated syphilis, characterized by a triad of clinical symptoms: gait unsteadiness, lightning pains and urinary incontinence. It occurs due to a slow and progressive degeneration of nerve cells and fibers in spinal cord. It is one of the forms of tertiary syphilis or neurosyphilis.
tacet Tacet is Latin for "it is silent." It is a musical term to indicate that an instrument does not play for a long period of time, typically an entire movement.
tachistoscope A scientific instrument used by psychologists to present visual stimuli for brief exposures.
talipot Tall palm of southern India and Sri Lanka with gigantic leaves used as umbrellas and fans or cut into strips for writing paper.
Tallinn A port city on the Gulf of Finland that is the capital and largest city of Estonia.
Talmud The collection of ancient rabbinic writings on Jewish law and tradition (the Mishna and the Gemara) that constitute the basis of religious authority in Orthodox Judaism.
tam-tam A percussion instrument consisting of a metal plate that is struck with a softheaded drumstick; a gong.
tampion 1. A wooden plug, or a metal or canvas cover for the muzzle of a gun, a cannon or other piece of ordnance when not in use; a stopper; a bung. 2. A plug for the upper end of an organ pipe.
taphonomy The study of the fate of the remains of organisms after they die, especially the study of fossilization.
tarantism A nervous disorder characterized by an uncontrollable impulse to dance; popularly attributed to bite of the southern European tarantula or wolf spider.
tare 1. An adjustment made for the weight of the packaging in order to determine the net weight of the goods. 2. The weight of a motor vehicle, railroad car, or aircraft without its fuel or cargo.
tarlatan A kind of thin, transparent muslin, used for dresses.
tartar A member of any of the various tribes, chiefly Mongolian and Turkish, who originally under the leadership of Genghis Khan, overran Asia and much of eastern Europe in the Middle Ages .
tatpurusha A compound of two words in which the first is an attributive noun and the second a substantive, as bookcase, aircraft, flowerpot, etc.
tatting A technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace constructed by a series of knots and loops. Tatting can be used to make lace edging as well as doilies, collars, and other decorative pieces.
tatty Moth-eaten: showing signs of wear and tear; "a tatty old overcoat."
tauromachy Bullfighting, a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, some cities in southern France and in several Latin American countries, in which one or more bulls are ritually killed in a bullring as a public spectacle.
tautochrone A curve down which a particle acted on by a force will traverse the distance to the lowest point in the curve in a fixed time independent of the starting position.
taxon A taxon (plural: taxa) is a group of (one or more) organisms, which a taxonomist adjudges to be a unit.
tayglach Traditional honey cookies for Rosh Hashanah.
tückisch voller Tücke, hinterlistig, arglistig
teleology Teleology is the philosophical study of design and purpose. A teleological school of thought is one that holds all things to be designed for or directed toward a final result, that there is an inherent purpose or final cause for all that exists.
telluric 1. Of the earth as a planet. 2. Of the soil.
telomere A region of repetitive DNA at the end of a chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration.
temenos A piece of land cut off and assigned as an official domain, especially to kings and chiefs, or a piece of land marked off from common uses and dedicated to a god, a sanctuary, holy grove or holy precinct. The Pythian race-course is called a temenos, the sacred valley of the Nile is the Νείλοιο πῖον τέμενος Κρονίδα, the Acropolis is the ἱερὸν τέμενος (of Pallas).
tench Freshwater dace-like game fish of Europe and western Asia noted for ability to survive outside water.
tephrochronology Tephrochronology is a geochronological technique that uses discrete layers of tephra—volcanic ash from a single eruption—to create a chronological framework in which paleoenvironmental or archaeological records can be placed.
tergiversation Repeatedly changing one's opinion or attitude with respect to a cause, subject, etc.
tertile Any of the two points that divide an ordered distribution into three parts, each containing a third of the population.
tesselated Covered with pieces that are identically shaped.
tesselation 1. The process of splitting an area into small, manageable units or subareas. Subareas may consist of tiles or rasters. 2. A tessellation or tiling of the plane is a collection of plane figures that fills the plane with no overlaps and no gaps. One may also speak of tessellations of the parts of the plane or of other surfaces. Generalizations to higher dimensions are also possible.
tessera A tessera (plural: tesserae, diminutive tessella) is an individual tile in a mosaic, usually formed in the shape of a cube. It is also known as an abaciscus, abaculus, or, in Persian کاشي معرق. In antiquity, mosaics were formed from naturally colored pebbles, but by 200 BC purpose-made tesserae were being used. Marble or limestone was cut into small cubes that were arranged into the design. Later, tesserae were made from colored glass, or clear glass backed with metal foils. The Byzantines used tesserae with gold leaf, in which case the glass pieces were flatter, with two glass pieces sandwiching the gold. This produced a golden reflection emanating from in between the tesserae as well as their front, causing a far richer and more luminous effect than even plain gold leaf would create.
tetrahedron A polyhedron composed of four triangular faces, three of which meet at each vertex. A regular tetrahedron is one in which the four triangles are regular, or "equilateral," and is one of the Platonic solids.
tetrarchy The term Tetrarchy describes any system of government where power is divided among four individuals, but usually refers to the tetrarchy instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293, marking the end of the Crisis of the Third Century and the recovery of the Roman Empire.
thelytoky From the Greek thely, meaning "female", and tok, meaning "birth." Thelytokous parthenogenesis is a type of parthenogenesis in which females are produced from unfertilized eggs. It is rare in the animal kingdom and has only been reported in about 1500 species.
theodicy A branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to reconcile the problem of evil.
theogony The genealogy of a group or system of gods.
theomania 1. A religious mania. 2. A mental illness in which the patient believes to be a god or to be possessed by one.
therianthropy Therianthropy refers to the metamorphosis of humans into other animals. Therianthropes are said to change forms via shapeshifting. Therianthropes have long existed in mythology, appearing in ancient cave drawings such as the Sorcerer at Les Trois Frères.
thermobaric A thermobaric weapon is an explosive weapon that produces a blast wave of a significantly longer duration than most high-explosives. This is useful in military applications where a longer pulse duration makes the pressure wave more difficult to survive–both for people and for structures.
tholos A small, circular building, usually of sacred use, often surrounded by columns.
Thomism The philosophy and theology of Thomas Aquinas.
thorp Thorp is a Middle English word for a hamlet or small village.
threnody A song or poem of lamentation or mourning for a dead person; a dirge; an elegy.
thrombolytic Thrombolytic drugs are used in medicine to dissolve blood clots in a procedure termed thrombolysis. They limit the damage caused by the blockage or occlusion of a blood vessel.
thumos Thumos (also commonly spelled "thymos") (θυμός) is an Ancient Greek word expressing the concept of "spiritedness." The word indicates a physical association with breath or blood. The word is also used to express the human desire for recognition.
timbales A pair of tunable single-headed, metal-shelled cylindrical drums, used in Latin American music.
timbric Of or pertaining to timbre.
Tirana 1. The capital and largest city of Albania. 2. A Spanish song-dance from Andalusia.
tisane An herbal tea, consumed esp. for its medicinal properties.
tithonium Das Tithonium (im Deutschen meist verkürzt zu Tithon, seltener auch Tithonien, bis 1990 auch z.T. als Portlandium bezeichnet) ist die höchste chronostratigraphische Stufe des Jura und dauerte geochronologisch von etwa 150,8 bis etwa 145,5 Millionen Jahren. Das Tithonium folgt auf das Kimmeridgium und wird vom Berriasium, der untersten Stufe der Unteren Kreide, abgelöst.
tokodynamometer An instrument for measuring the force of uterine contractions.
tombal Relatif à la tombe. Des pierres tombales. Une inscription tombale.
tombolo A tombolo is a deposition landform in which an island is attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land such as a spit or bar. Once attached the island is then known as a tied island. They usually form because the island causes wave refraction, depositing sand and shingle moved by longshore drift in each direction around the island where the waves meet.
tontine A money transfer scheme, now illegal in the United States, where all money transferred to a pool is given to the last survivor(s) of the pool.
toper Drinker: a person who drinks alcoholic beverages (especially to excess).
topos 1. A literary theme or motif; a rhetorical convention or formula. 2. In mathematics, a topos (plural "topoi" or "toposes") is a type of category that behaves like the category of sheaves of sets on a topological space.
tortile Twisted, winding, contorted.
totipotency The ability of a single cell to divide and produce all the differentiated cells in an organism, including extraembryonic tissues. Totipotent cells formed during sexual and asexual reproduction include spores and zygotes.
tout 1. Someone advertising for customers in an aggressive way. 2. To flaunt, to publicize/publicise; to boast or brag; to promote.
trachoma An infectious eye disease, and the leading cause of the world's infectious blindness. Globally, 84 million people suffer from active infection and nearly 8 million people are visually impaired as a result of this disease.
tractation Treatment or handling of a subject; discussion.
tractrix The curve along which a small object moves, under the influence of friction, when pulled on a horizontal plane by a piece of thread and a puller that moves at a right angle to the initial line between the object and the puller at an infinitesimal speed. It is therefore a curve of pursuit. It was first introduced by Claude Perrault in 1670, and later studied by Sir Isaac Newton (1676) and Christian Huygens (1692).
tragus The tragus is a small pointed eminence of the external ear, situated in front of the concha, and projecting backward over the meatus. Its name comes from the Greek: tragos, goat, and is descriptive of its general covering on its under surface with a tuft of hair, resembling a goat's beard.
transdifferentiation Transdifferentiation in biology takes place when a non-stem cell transforms into a different type of cell, or when an already differentiated stem cell creates cells outside its already established differentiation path. Developmental biologist and biochemist David Tosh has restricted the definition of transdifferentiation to irreversible switches of one differentiated cell type to another. Transdifferentiation is a type of metaplasia, which includes all cell fate switches, including the interconversion of stem cells. Transdifferentiation takes place in nature in a few specific cases. For example, in salamanders and chickens when the lens of the eye is removed, cells of the iris turn into lens cells. Still, such naturally occurring cases, or even ones created in the laboratory are rare.
transhumance The seasonal migration of livestock, and the people who tend them, between lowlands and adjacent mountains.
trebuchet A trebuchet or trebucket is a siege engine that was employed in the Middle Ages either to smash masonry walls or to throw projectiles over them.
trepidation Trepidation as used in the field of astronomy means an imagined oscillation of the equinoxes. It should not be confused with precession. In precession, the equinoxes appear to move slowly through the ecliptic, completing a revolution in approximately 25,800 years (according to modern astronomers).
triangular number A triangular number is the number of dots in an equilateral triangle evenly filled with dots. For example, three dots can be arranged in a triangle; thus three is a triangle number. The nth triangle number is the number of dots in a triangle with n dots on a side. A triangle number is, equivalently, the sum of the n natural numbers from 1 to n.
tricuspidal An organ or part, especially a tooth, having three cusps.
triforium The gallery of arches above the side-aisle vaulting in the nave of a church.
trilemma A problem or situation presenting three mutually exclusive choices.
triune Three in one, constituting a trinity in unity.
trochee A trochee or choree, choreus, is a metrical foot used in formal poetry consisting of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one.
tropism A tropism is a biological phenomenon, indicating growth or turning movement of a biological organism, usually a plant, in response to an environmental stimulus.
trousseau The personal possessions of a bride usually including clothes, accessories, and household linens and wares.
trouvaille A lucky find.
truckle To act in a submissive manner; to fawn, submit to a superior.
tubaphone The tubaphone is a softer-toned offspring of the glockenspiel. It is used in military bands and has metal tubes rather than bars.
tularemia An infectious disease of wild rabbits caused by a bacterium that may be carried by ticks and transmitted to man; also called rabbit fever.
tumah A state of ritual impurity in Halakha (Jewish law). A person or object which contracts tumah is said to be tamei, or "impure." The state of ritual purity is called taharah.
tun A large cask especially one holding a volume equivalent to 2 butts or 252 gallons.
tzedaka Tzedakah (Hebrew: צדקה‎) is a Hebrew word commonly translated as charity, though it is based on a root meaning justice (צדק, tzedek). In Judaism, tzedakah refers to the religious obligation to perform charity, and philanthropic acts, which Judaism emphasises are important parts of living a spiritual life; Jewish tradition argues that the second highest form of tzedakah is to anonymously give donations to unknown recipients.
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