chaos

[key-os]
noun
1.
a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.
2.
any confused, disorderly mass: a chaos of meaningless phrases.
3.
the infinity of space or formless matter supposed to have preceded the existence of the ordered universe.
4.
(initial capital letter) the personification of this in any of several ancient Greek myths.
5.
Obsolete. a chasm or abyss.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English < Latin < Greek; akin to chasm, yawn, gape


1. disarray, jumble, turmoil, tumult.


1. order, peace, calm.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
chaos (ˈkeɪɒs)
 
n
1.  complete disorder; utter confusion
2.  (usually capital) the disordered formless matter supposed to have existed before the ordered universe
3.  an obsolete word for abyss
 
[C15: from Latin, from Greek khaos; compare chasm, yawn]
 
chaotic
 
adj
 
cha'otically
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

chaos
mid-15c., "gaping void," from L. chaos, from Gk. khaos "abyss, that which gapes wide open, is vast and empty," from *khnwos, from PIE base *gheu-, *gh(e)i- "to gape" (cf. Gk khaino "I yawn," O.E. ginian, O.N. ginnunga-gap; see yawn). Meaning "utter confusion" (c.1600) is extended
from theological use of chaos for "the void at the beginning of creation" in Vulgate version of Genesis. The Gk. for "disorder" was tarakhe, however the use of chaos here was rooted in Hesiod ("Theogony"), who describes khaos as the primeval emptiness of the Universe, begetter of Erebus and Nyx ("Night"), and in Ovid ("Metamorphoses"), who opposes Khaos to Kosmos, "the ordered Universe." Chaos theory in the modern mathematical sense is attested from c.1977.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
chaos   (kā'ŏs')  Pronunciation Key 
The behavior of systems that follow deterministic laws but appear random and unpredictable. Chaotic systems very are sensitive to initial conditions; small changes in those conditions can lead to quite different outcomes. One example of chaotic behavior is the flow of air in conditions of turbulence. See more at fractal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

chaos definition


A new branch of science that deals with systems whose evolution depends very sensitively upon the initial conditions. Turbulent flows of fluids (such as white water in a river) and the prediction of the weather are two areas where chaos theory has been applied with some success.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

chaos definition

mathematics
A property of some non-linear dynamic systems which exhibit sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This means that there are initial states which evolve within some finite time to states whose separation in one or more dimensions of state space depends, in an average sense, exponentially on their initial separation.
Such systems may still be completely deterministic in that any future state of the system depends only on the initial conditions and the equations describing the change of the system with time. It may, however, require arbitrarily high precision to actually calculate a future state to within some finite precision.
["On defining chaos", R. Glynn Holt rgholt@voyager.jpl.nasa.gov and D. Lynn Holt lholt@seraph1.sewanee.edu. (ftp://mrcnext.cso.uiuc.edu/pub/etext/ippe/preprints/Phil_of_Science/Holt_and_Holt.On_Defining_Chaos)]
Fixed precision floating-point arithmetic, as used by most computers, may actually introduce chaotic dependence on initial conditions due to the accumulation of rounding errors (which constitutes a non-linear system).
(1995-02-07)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
But new areas of technology always emerge through chaos and confusion over
  their mission.
He stood aside, the grand manipulator conjuring order out of disorder and
  finding significance in apparent chaos.
Stay focused on the job at hand to see past confusion or chaos.
When heavy winds coincide with especially high tides, it becomes liquid chaos
  and disaster for the unwitting seafarer.
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