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Entropy

Pronunciation: en-TRUH-pee

Definition:

Chaos and disorder.

  • A function of any thermodynamic variable (temperature, pressure) measured by unavailable energy.
  • A measure if randomness
  • In cosmology it is the hypothetical tendency for the universe to attain a state of maximum homogeneity in which all matter is at uniform temperature (heat death).
  • A doctrine of inevitable social decline and degeneration.

Origin

Coined in 1868, this vague noun stems from the New High German entropie meaning the measure to the disorder of a system. Much earlier, Green entropia was compounded of en meaning ‘in’ and trope– ‘a turning’.

Why this word?

No matter which field this noun entered, it came to represent disorder, something that is too random, a sort of physical, chemical or cosmological miasma. Entropy is thus a sort of chaos.

How to use entropy?

Unless you are a cosmologist or a chemist, you would use this word to represent anything that is chaotic, not ordered, anything that defies its own purpose.

The entropy defining this office is becoming too much. No one knows what the other one is doing, if anything, and nothing is getting done!”

You can also use the related adjective: “This entropic behavior has to stop! We have so much to do and I need you to be organized!”

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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for UnusedWords.com. Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.

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