Definition of thermal in English:


Line breaks: ther|mal
Pronunciation: /ˈθəːm(ə)l


  • 1Relating to heat: thermal conductivity the thermal properties of food
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    • In other words, water vapor has a low heat capacity and poor thermal conduction.
    • Approximately 35% of the energy from a nuclear explosion is an intense burst of thermal radiation, ie heat.
    • Basic research into the electrical and thermal properties of metallic, magnetic and organic materials is leading to the discovery of novel superconductors.
  • 1.1 another term for geothermal. thermal power stations
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    • She is the daughter of Aramkumar, an engineer at the thermal power station in Tuticorin, and Annam, who is an engineer at the Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board.
    • Work is also continuing on the refurbishment of two units at a large thermal power station in south Baghdad.
    • Leaving his job as a designer of thermal power stations, he took a plunge into politics.
  • 1.2(Of a garment) made of a fabric that provides exceptional insulation to keep the body warm: thermal underwear
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    • A former Miss UK who traded her swimsuit for thermal underwear and fleecy jackets to compete in the world's toughest endurance challenge is keeping pace with the leaders after a slow start.
    • Cold weather gloves, jackets and insulated flying boots combined with thermal underwear will keep you warm during a flight and can save your life in an emergency.
    • It has not been much warmer in France than it was in Belgium and we started the first stage in leg warmers, thermal vests, gloves and hats.


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  • 1An upward current of warm air, used by gliders, balloonists, and birds to gain height.
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    • By using thermals, gliders can stay aloft for hours without using power.
    • Before too much height is lost, the pilot will seek another thermal, gain height in it, and then set off on course yet again.
    • It indicates what rate of climb you seem to be expecting in the next thermal based on your current air speed.
  • 2 (usually thermals) A thermal garment, especially underwear.
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    • For sailing I would advise packing at least the same amount of clothes, thermals, jerseys and long johns again.
    • It works for pottering around in barefoot at home or layered up with thermals, tights and a cardie for winter workdays.
    • I was bundled up in only one coat and a long-sleeved tee shirt, with some thermals and pants over them, along with hiking boots.



More example sentences
  • An earlier order bans the import of live birds, eggs and thermally unprocessed bird products from 17 countries and regions in East and South Asia.
  • A lone, single bomb, thermally guided, had hit the electric substation outside the perimeter of the complex, causing little damage.
  • The complex will be built with thermally efficient non-toxic timber panels, which should mean residents have a pleasant surprise when the energy bill arrives.


mid 18th century (in the sense 'relating to hot springs'): from French, from Greek thermē 'heat'.

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