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[jool, joul] /dʒul, dʒaʊl/
noun, Physics.
the standard unit of work or energy in the International System of Units (SI), equal to the work done by a force of one newton when its point of application moves through a distance of one meter in the direction of the force: equivalent to 10 7 ergs and one watt-second.
Abbreviation: J, j.
Also called newton-meter.
1885-90; named after J. P. Joule


[jool, joul] /dʒul, dʒaʊl/
James Prescott, 1818–89, English physicist. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for joule
  • In any case, the internationally used energy unit is the joule.
  • The air conditioning is usually running and every joule of additional thermal load is a direct air conditioning cost.
  • But the latter means that a mole of cell phones generates one joule.
  • joule for joule, natural gas is cheaper than electricity, so it's cheaper to heat up a degree than cool down a degree.
British Dictionary definitions for joule


the derived SI unit of work or energy; the work done when the point of application of a force of 1 newton is displaced through a distance of 1 metre in the direction of the force. 1 joule is equivalent to 1 watt-second, 107 ergs, 0.2390 calories, or 0.738 foot-pound J
Word Origin
C19: named after James Prescott Joule


James Prescott. 1818–89, English physicist, who evaluated the mechanical equivalent of heat and contributed to the study of heat and electricity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for joule
"unit of electrical energy," 1882, coined in recognition of British physicist James P. Joule (1818-89).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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joule in Medicine

joule (jōōl, joul)
Abbr. J

  1. The International System unit of electrical, mechanical, and thermal energy.

  2. A unit of electrical energy equal to the work done when a current of 1 ampere is passed through a resistance of 1 ohm for 1 second.

  3. A unit of energy equal to the work done when a force of 1 newton acts through a distance of 1 meter.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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joule in Science
  (jl, joul)   
The SI derived unit used to measure energy or work. One joule is equal to the energy used to accelerate a body with a mass of one kilogram using one newton of force over a distance of one meter. One joule is also equivalent to one watt-second.
Joule, James Prescott 1818-1889.  
British physicist who demonstrated that heat is a form of energy. His work established the law of conservation of energy, stating that energy is never destroyed but may be converted from one form into another. The joule unit of energy is named for him.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for joule

unit of work or energy in the International System of Units (SI); it is equal to the work done by a force of one newton acting through one metre. Named in honour of the English physicist James Prescott Joule, it equals 107 ergs, or approximately 0.7377 foot-pounds. In electrical terms, the joule equals one watt-second-i.e., the energy released in one second by a current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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