heat sink

noun
1.
Thermodynamics. any environment or medium that absorbs heat.
2.
Also, heatsink. Electronics. a metallic heat exchanger designed to absorb and dissipate excess heat from one of the devices, as a transistor or resistor, in a circuit.

Origin:
1935–40

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
heat sink
 
n
1.  a metal plate specially designed to conduct and radiate heat from an electrical component
2.  a layer of material placed within the outer skin of high-speed aircraft to absorb heat

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
heat sink  
  1. A protective device that absorbs and dissipates the excess heat generated by a system.

  2. An environment capable of absorbing heat from substances within it (and with which it is in thermal contact) without an appreciable change in its own temperature and without a change in its own phase.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

heat sink definition


A reservoir for excess heat, especially in a mechanical or electrical device.

Note: One obstacle to the loading of circuits onto microprocessors is the heat generated by electrical circuits. Effective heat sinks, such as metal fins on top of a microprocessor, can provide part of the solution to this problem.
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

heat sink definition

hardware
/heet sink/ (from "sink", electronics jargon for something which takes in current) A piece of thermally conductive metal attached to a semiconductor or other electronic device and designed to prevent it from overheating by conducting heat away from it and radiating it to the environment. Heat sinks often have fins to increase their surface area. They occasionally have fans attached. Heat sink compound can be smeared between the device and the heat sink to improve thermal conduction.
(1997-06-10)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
When that ice goes and it's open water, the open ocean is a heat sink.
It is then placed into momentary thermal contact with a heat sink, which
  absorbs any heat and entropy that the polymer has.
The day and night ebb and flow exist but keep in mind that the planet is also a
  heat sink.
The vast oceans are a heat sink that resists serious temperature swings and
  large changes in atmospheric chemistry.
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