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[ad-ee-uh-bat-ik, ey-dahy-uh-] /ˌæd i əˈbæt ɪk, ˌeɪ daɪ ə-/
occurring without gain or loss of heat (opposed to diabatic):
an adiabatic process.
Origin of adiabatic
1875-80; < Greek adiábat(os) incapable of being crossed (a- a-6 + dia- dia- + ba- (stem of baínein to cross) + -tos verbal adjective suffix) + -ic; cf. diabatic
Related forms
adiabatically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for adiabatic
  • The big question, he says, is whether the adiabatic method's gradual adjustment of qubits would operate rapidly at that size.
  • adiabatic process is described in all thermodynamics textbooks.
  • The company's approach to computing, known as adiabatic quantum computing, has been heavily criticised.
  • adiabatic lapse rate simply explains the distribution of temperatures within an atmosphere.
  • They're cold, they're non-interacting, and their perturbations are adiabatic.
  • Ordinary adiabatic compression, as occurs in a bicycle pump, causes air to become hot.
  • adiabatic cooling due to upwelling is another possible explanation.
  • We call this condition of no heat being added or subtracted from the air, an adiabatic condition.
  • adiabatic fuel cell stacks have attracted industry attention for their simple design, low cost, and reliability.
British Dictionary definitions for adiabatic


/ˌædɪəˈbætɪk; ˌeɪ-/
(of a thermodynamic process) taking place without loss or gain of heat
a curve or surface on a graph representing the changes in two or more characteristics (such as pressure and volume) of a system undergoing an adiabatic process
Word Origin
C19: from Greek adiabatos not to be crossed, impassable (to heat), from a-1 + diabatos passable, from dia- across + bainein to go
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for adiabatic

1838, from Greek adiabatos "not to be passed through," from a- "not" + dia "through" (see dia-) + batos "passable," from bainein "to go" (see come).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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adiabatic in Science
Occurring without gain or loss of heat. When a gas is compressed under adiabatic conditions, its pressure increases and its temperature rises without the gain or loss of any heat. Conversely, when a gas expands under adiabatic conditions, its pressure and temperature both decrease without the gain or loss of heat. The adiabatic cooling of air as it rises in the atmosphere is the main cause of cloud formation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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