quark

[kwawrk, kwahrk]
noun
Physics. any of the hypothetical particles with spin 1/2, baryon number 1/3, and electric charge 1/3 or −2/3 that, together with their antiparticles, are believed to constitute all the elementary particles classed as baryons and mesons; they are distinguished by their flavors, designated as up (u), down (d), strange (s), charm (c), bottom or beauty (b), and top or truth (t), and their colors, red, green, and blue. Compare color ( def 18 ), flavor ( def 5 ), quantum chromodynamics, quark model.

Origin:
coined in 1963 by U.S. physicist Murray Gell-Mann (born 1929), who associated it with a word in Joyce's Finnegans Wake, read variously as English quark croak and German Quark curd, (slang) rubbish, tripe

quark, quirk.
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World English Dictionary
quark1 (kwɑːk)
 
n
physics any of a set of six hypothetical elementary particles together with their antiparticles thought to be fundamental units of all baryons and mesons but unable to exist in isolation. The magnitude of their charge is either two thirds or one third of that of the electron
 
[C20: coined by James Joyce in the novel Finnegans Wake, and given special application in physics]

quark2 (kwɑːk)
 
n
a type of low-fat soft cheese
 
[from German]

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

quark
1964, applied by U.S. physicist Murray Gell-Mann (b.1929), who said he took it from a nonsense word in James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" (1939).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
quark   (kwôrk, kwärk)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of a group of elementary particles supposed to be the fundamental units that combine to make up the subatomic particles known as hadrons (baryons, such as neutrons and protons, and mesons). There are six different flavors (or types) of quark: up quark, down quark, top quark, bottom quark, charm quark, and strange quark. Quarks have fractional electric charges, such as 1/3 the charge of an electron. See Note at elementary particle. See Table at subatomic particle.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The proton is a baryon that consists of two up and one down quark, and the neutron is two down and one up.
Correlations of chiral condensates and quark number densities with static quark sources.
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