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entropy Line breaks: en|tropy
Pronunciation: /ˈɛntrəpi/

Definition of entropy in English:


[mass noun]
1 Physics A thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system: the second law of thermodynamics says that entropy always increases with time [count noun]: the sum of the entropies of all the bodies taking part in the process (Symbol: S)
More example sentences
  • Despite the large increase in enthalpy and entropy, the free energy difference between the closed and open conformations is relatively small.
  • The enthalpy, entropy, and free energy changes in the opening reaction of each basepair are determined from the temperature dependence of the exchange rates.
  • In Chapter 3 we discussed how the thermodynamic arrow of entropy increase is a reflection of the relative probabilities of various states.
2Lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder: a marketplace where entropy reigns supreme
More example sentences
  • He was unable to arrest the gradual entropy that had set in.
  • People have a natural tendency to rebel against entropy to return order to their environments.
  • Patrick's final resting place wasn't quite as romantic as she'd envisioned it, but after a day in this town where entropy seemed to reign unchecked, she was unsurprised.
3(In information theory) a logarithmic measure of the rate of transfer of information in a particular message or language.
Example sentences
  • These functions range from simple bookkeeping tasks to serious number-crunching algorithms such as deconvolution, maximum entropy, Fourier transforms and more.
  • But no serious scientist would expect that such a thing were possible, for the simple reason that it would be a violation of the fundamental principles of entropy / information theory.
  • Information, entropy, and computation become metaphors for us at a much broader level.


Pronunciation: /ɛnˈtrɒpɪk/
Example sentences
  • In keeping with the general entropic tendency of the universe, all my futile efforts at gathering and retaining, my naïve tendency toward nest-egging, fly directly in the face of the entire universe itself!
  • The other problem with paranoia is that it tends to become exhausting being so cynical and suspicious and any entropic system needs a continuous input of energy to continue working rather than excessive expenditures.
  • By tending towards the whole, it is possible to conceptualize the equalizing of difference in a fully entropic global communication system.
Pronunciation: /ɛnˈtrɒpɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • The decondensation is entropically driven due to the higher number of ligand binding sites in decondensed DNA in comparison with the condensed molecules.
  • Furthermore, as the DNA unbinds entropically at extensions before the overstretching transition, these calculations predict that the plateau will not be seen in the force-extension curves for a dodecamer, as is indeed the case.
  • The extent to which the DNA binding of a given protein will be enthalpically or entropically driven is a function of solution conditions, such as temperature, salt concentration, pH, etc.


Mid 19th century: from en-2 'inside' + Greek tropē 'transformation'.

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