Also, thermic. of, pertaining to, or caused by heat or temperature: thermal capacity.
of, pertaining to, or of the nature of thermae: thermal waters.
designed to aid in or promote the retention of body heat: a thermal blanket.
Meteorology. a rising air current caused by heating from the underlying surface, especially such a current when not producing a cloud.

1750–60; therm- + -al1

thermally, adverb
hyperthermal, adjective
hyperthermally, adverb
nonthermal, adjective
nonthermally, adverb
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
thermal (ˈθɜːməl)
1.  Also: thermic of, relating to, caused by, or generating heat or increased temperature
2.  hot or warm: thermal baths; thermal spring
3.  (of garments or fabrics) specially designed so as to have exceptional heat-retaining properties
4.  meteorol a column of rising air caused by local unequal heating of the land surface, and used by gliders and birds to gain height
5.  (plural) thermal garments, esp underclothes

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

1756, "having to do with hot springs," from Fr. thermal (Buffon), from Gk. therme "heat," from PIE *ghwerm-/*ghworm- "warm" (cf. L. fornax "an oven, kiln," formus "warm," O.E. wearm; see warm). Sense of "having to do with heat" is first recorded 1837. The noun meaning "rising
current of relatively warm air" is recorded from 1933.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

thermal ther·mal (thûr'məl)

  1. Of, relating to, using, producing, or caused by heat.

  2. Intended or designed in such a way as to help retain body heat.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
thermal   (thûr'məl)  Pronunciation Key 
Adjective   Relating to heat.

Noun   A usually columnar mass of warm air that rises in the lower atmosphere because it is less dense than the air around it. Thermals form because the ground surface is heated unevenly by the Sun. The air usually rises until it is in equilibrium with the air surrounding it.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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