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system British & World English

A set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network; a complex whole

ABO system British & World English

A system of four basic types (A, AB, B, and O) into which human blood may be classified, based on the presence or absence of certain inherited antigens

case system British & World English

A method of teaching or studying law that emphasizes the analysis and discussion of selected cases

midi system British & World English

A set of compact stacking hi-fi equipment components

open system British & World English

A system in which the components and protocols conform to standards independent of a particular supplier

list system British & World English

A system of voting (used in several European countries) in which votes are cast for a list of candidates rather than an individual, to allow a degree of proportional representation

self-system British & World English

The complex of drives and responses relating to the self; the set of potentialities which develop in an individual’s character in response to parental and other external influence

star system British & World English

A large number of stars with a perceptible structure; a galaxy

tot system British & World English

A system according to which labourers, especially those in vineyards, are paid part of their wages in wine

block system British & World English

A system of railway signalling which divides the track into sections and allows no train to enter a section that is not completely clear

buddy system British & World English

A cooperative arrangement whereby individuals are paired or teamed up and assume responsibility for one another’s welfare or safety

binary system British & World English

A system in which information can be expressed by combinations of the digits 0 and 1

drive system British & World English

The part of an engine, computer, or mechanical device that brings about its dynamic movement

expert system British & World English

A piece of software which uses databases of expert knowledge to offer advice or make decisions in such areas as medical diagnosis

metric system British & World English

The decimal measuring system based on the metre, litre, and gram as units of length, capacity, and weight or mass. The system was first proposed by the French astronomer and mathematician Gabriel Mouton (1618–94) in 1670 and was standardized in Republican France in the 1790s

limbic system British & World English

A complex system of nerves and networks in the brain, involving several areas near the edge of the cortex concerned with instinct and mood. It controls the basic emotions (fear, pleasure, anger) and drives (hunger, sex, dominance, care of offspring)

portal system British & World English

The system of blood vessels consisting of the hepatic portal vein with its tributaries and branches

points system British & World English

A system for distributing or allocating resources or for ranking or evaluating candidates or claimants on the basis of points allocated or accumulated

price system British & World English

An economic system in which prices are determined by market forces

spoils system British & World English

The practice of a successful political party giving public office to its supporters

sound system British & World English

A set of equipment for the reproduction and amplification of sound

tally system British & World English

A system of selling goods on short-term credit or an instalment plan

solar system British & World English

The collection of eight planets and their moons in orbit round the sun, together with smaller bodies in the form of asteroids, meteoroids, and comets

immune system British & World English

The organs and processes of the body that provide resistance to infection and toxins. Organs include the thymus, bone marrow, and lymph nodes

honour system British & World English

A system of payment or examinations which relies solely on the honesty of those concerned

crystal system British & World English

Each of seven categories of crystals (cubic, tetragonal, orthorhombic, trigonal, hexagonal, monoclinic, and triclinic) classified according to the possible relations of the crystal axes

nervous system British & World English

The network of nerve cells and fibres which transmits nerve impulses between parts of the body

system operator British & World English

A person who manages the operation of a computer system or particular electronic communication service

Torrens system British & World English

A system of land title registration, adopted originally in Australia and later in some states of the US and Malaysia

honours system British & World English

(Especially in the UK or other Commonwealth countries) a system of awards and titles conferred by a country or state in recognition of individual achievement or service

Continental System British & World English

Napoleon’s strategy of blockading Britain (1806–13), by which British ships were prohibited from entering the ports of France and her allies

Copernican system British & World English

The theory that the sun is the centre of the solar system, with the planets (including the earth) orbiting round it

circulatory system British & World English

The system that circulates blood and lymph through the body, consisting of the heart, blood vessels, blood, lymph, and the lymphatic vessels and glands

development system British & World English

A system of software and hardware designed to assist in the development of new software or products

distributed system British & World English

A number of independent computers linked by a network

operating system British & World English

The low-level software that supports a computer’s basic functions, such as scheduling tasks and controlling peripherals

lymphatic system British & World English

The network of vessels through which lymph drains from the tissues into the blood

Ptolemaic system British & World English

The theory that the earth is the stationary centre of the universe, with the planets moving in epicyclic orbits within surrounding concentric spheres

beat the system British & World English

Succeed in finding a means of getting round rules, regulations, or other means of control

beat the system in beat British & World English

Succeed in finding a means of getting round rules, regulations, or other means of control

cardiovascular system British & World English

another term for circulatory system.

domain name system British & World English

The system by which Internet domain names and addresses are tracked and regulated

open-field system British & World English

The traditional medieval system of farming in England, in which land was divided into strips and managed by an individual only in the growing season, being available to the community for grazing animals during the rest of the year

Speenhamland system British & World English

A system of poor relief first adopted in the late 18th century and established throughout rural England in succeeding years

early warning system British & World English

A network of radar stations established at the boundary of a defended region to provide advanced warning of an aircraft or missile attack

migrant labour system British & World English

(In South Africa) the laws and structures under which black contract labourers from rural areas, the homelands, or neighbouring states were recruited to work in the cities and mines

public address system British & World English

A system of microphones, amplifiers, and loudspeakers used to amplify speech or music in a large building or at an outdoor gathering

water-vascular system British & World English

(In an echinoderm) a network of water vessels in the body, the tube feet being operated by hydraulic pressure within the vessels

additional member system British & World English

A type of proportional representation in which each elector votes separately for a party and for a representative


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