Science Vocabulary Words with Meaning

Science Vocabulary Words with Meaning

Science is a vast field of study that encompasses everything from biology to physics and beyond. As a result, there are countless scientific vocabulary words that students and professionals alike need to know in order to effectively communicate and understand scientific concepts. Here are some essential science vocabulary words with meanings.

Science Words With Meaning From A To Z

Here is a list of science words with meanings from a to z:

  • Ablation

The removal or destruction of a part of an organism, such as tissue or an organ, through natural or surgical means.

  • Absolute zero

The lowest possible temperature that is theoretically attainable, at which the particles of matter have zero kinetic energy.

  • Acceleration

The rate of change of velocity over time.

  • Acoustics

The study of sound and its behavior, especially the production, transmission, and reception of sound waves.

  • Acute

Used to describe a condition or disease that is sudden in onset and severe in its effects.

  • Adhesion

The molecular attraction between the surfaces of two different substances that causes them to stick together.

  • Aerodynamics

The study of the motion of air and other gases and the forces acting on objects in motion relative to them.

  • Amino acid

The building blocks of proteins, consisting of a carboxyl group, an amino group, and a side chain specific to each type of amino acid.

  • Anatomical position

The standard reference position used in anatomy, with the subject standing upright, facing forward, arms at the sides, and palms facing forward.

  • Bacteria

Single-celled organisms that lack a nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles, and can be found in a variety of environments.

  • Binary

A numbering system in which there are only two possible digits, usually 0 and 1, and is commonly used in computing.

  • Biochemistry

The study of the chemical processes and substances that occur within living organisms.

  • Biome

A large geographical region characterized by its climate, plant and animal life, and other environmental factors.

  • Biosphere

The part of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere where living organisms can exist.

  • Black hole

A region of space where gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape its pull.

  • Blood pressure

The force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels, usually measured in millimeters of mercury (mmhg).

  • Body mass index (BMI)

A measure of body fat based on height and weight, calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared (kg/m2).

  • Botany

The scientific study of plants and plant life.

  • Brain

The organ of the central nervous system responsible for consciousness, thought, and coordination of bodily functions.

  • Calorie

A unit of energy commonly used to measure the energy content of food and drink.

  • Cancer

A group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells in the body.

  • Carbon

A chemical element with the symbol C and atomic number 6, and is the basis for all known life on Earth.

  • Catalyst

A substance that speeds up a chemical reaction without being consumed in the reaction itself.

  • Cell

The basic unit of life, consisting of a cell membrane, cytoplasm, and genetic material.

  • Chemical bond

The force of attraction between two atoms that holds them together in a molecule.

  • Chemistry

The scientific study of matter and its properties, interactions, and transformations.

  • Chromosome

A long, coiled-up strand of DNA that carries genetic information.

  • Climate

The long-term pattern of weather conditions in a particular area, including temperature, precipitation, and wind.

  • Clone

An organism or group of organisms that is genetically identical to another individual or group.

  • Data

Information, facts, or figures collected for analysis

  • Deceleration

A decrease in velocity or speed

  • Decomposition

The breakdown of complex substances into simpler ones

  • Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

A molecule that carries genetic information

  • Density

The amount of mass in a given volume

  • Deposition

The process of dropping or depositing sediment or particles

  • Dermis

The layer of skin beneath the epidermis

  • Desalination

The process of removing salt and other minerals from water

  • Detergent

A cleaning agent that contains surfactants to dissolve dirt and grease

  • Developmental biology

The study of how organisms grow and develop

  • Diabetes

A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels

  • Diaphragm

A muscle that separates the thorax and abdomen

  • Diffraction

The bending of waves around obstacles or through small openings

  • Diffusion

The movement of particles from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration

  • Digestion

The process of breaking down food into smaller molecules for absorption and use by the body

  • Dihybrid cross

A genetic cross involving two traits

  • Diploid

Having two sets of chromosomes

  • Direct current (DC)

A type of electrical current that flows in only one direction

  • Displacement

The change in the position of an object

  • DNA replication

The process of copying DNA prior to cell division

  • Ecology

The study of how living organisms interact with each other and with their environment

  • Ecosystem

A community of living and nonliving things that interact with each other

  • Elasticity

The ability of a material to return to its original shape after being stretched or compressed

  • Electric charge

A fundamental property of matter that can be positive, negative or neutral

  • Electric field

The area around a charged object where its influence can be detected

  • Electrical conductivity

The ability of a material to conduct electricity

  • Electrical current

The flow of electric charge through a conductor

  • Electrical resistance

The opposition to the flow of electrical current

  • Electrolysis

The use of an electric current to drive a chemical reaction

  • Electromagnetic radiation

The energy that is transmitted through space in the form of electromagnetic waves

  • Electromagnetism

The study of the interaction between electric currents and magnetic fields

  • Electrophoresis

The separation of charged molecules based on their size and charge

  • Element

A substance made up of only one type of atom

  • Embryology

The study of the development of embryos

  • Emulsion

A mixture of two immiscible liquids, such as oil and water

  • Endocrine system

The system of glands that produce and secrete hormones into the bloodstream

  • Energy

The ability to do work

  • Energy conservation

The practice of using less energy to accomplish the same tasks

  • Energy transfer

The movement of energy from one place or object to another

  • Enzyme

A protein that catalyzes a biochemical reaction

  • Fahrenheit

A temperature scale where water freezes at 32 degrees and boils at 212 degrees

  • Fermentation

The conversion of sugars to alcohol or organic acids using microorganisms

  • Fertilization

The fusion of male and female gametes to form a zygote

  • Fetus

The stage of development of an embryo after the eighth week of pregnancy

  • Fibrous joint

A joint where two bones are held together by connective tissue

  • Galaxy

A large system of stars, gas, and dust held together by gravity.

  • Gamma rays

High-energy electromagnetic radiation emitted from the nuclei of atoms.

  • Gene

A sequence of DNA that codes for a specific protein or RNA molecule.

  • Genetic code

The sequence of nucleotides in DNA that determines the sequence of amino acids in a protein.

  • Genome

The complete set of genes in an organism.

  • Geology

The study of the Earth’s physical structure, history, and processes.

  • Geothermal energy

Energy derived from the Earth’s internal heat.

  • Glaciation

The process of forming glaciers or ice sheets.

  • Global warming

The gradual increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature due to the increase in greenhouse gases.

  • Gravity

The force that attracts two objects towards each other.

  • Habitat

The natural environment in which an organism lives.

  • Halogen

A group of elements that includes chlorine, fluorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine.

  • Haplotype

A set of genetic variations that are inherited together.

  • Heat

The energy transferred between objects due to a temperature difference.

  • Helix

A twisted or spiral shape.

  • Hertz

A unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second.

  • Hibernation

A state of reduced metabolism and activity in animals during winter.

  • Hybrid

An organism produced by crossing two different species or varieties.

  • Hydrocarbon

A compound consisting of hydrogen and carbon.

  • Hydrogen

The lightest and most abundant element in the universe.

  • Inbreeding

Breeding between closely related individuals.

  • Inertia

The tendency of an object to remain at rest or in motion.

  • Infection

The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms in the body.

  • Infrared radiation

Electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than visible light.

  • Inorganic

Not containing carbon.

  • Insulator

A material that does not conduct electricity.

  • Ion

An atom or molecule with a net electrical charge.

  • Ionic bond

A chemical bond formed by the transfer of electrons from one atom to another.

  • Isotope

An atom of the same element with a different number of neutrons.

  • Iteration

The process of repeating a set of instructions or calculations.

  • Joule

A unit of energy or work equal to the work done by a force of one newton acting through a distance of one meter.

  • Juxtaposition

The placement of two or more things side by side for comparison or contrast.

  • Kepler’s laws

Three laws of planetary motion formulated by Johannes Kepler in the early 17th century.

  • Kelvin

A unit of temperature based on absolute zero.

  • Kinetic energy

The energy of motion.

  • Kingdom

The highest taxonomic rank in biology, consisting of organisms that share certain characteristics.

  • Kinship

The relationship between individuals who are related by blood or marriage.

  • Labile

Prone to change, especially chemically or physically unstable.

  • Lamina

A thin layer or sheet of tissue.

  • Laminate

To create a layered structure by bonding together thin sheets of material.

  • Landfill

A designated area for the disposal of solid waste.

  • Langmuir adsorption

A type of adsorption where a monolayer of molecules is formed on the surface of a solid.

  • Lanthanide series

A group of metallic elements with atomic numbers 57 to 71.

  • Laser

A device that emits coherent light of a single wavelength and produces a concentrated beam.

  • Latitude

The angular distance of a location on Earth north or south of the equator.

  • Lattice

A repeating arrangement of atoms or molecules in a crystalline solid.

  • Law of conservation of energy

The principle that energy cannot be created or destroyed but can be converted from one form to another.

  • Law of conservation of mass

The principle that the total mass of a closed system remains constant, regardless of any chemical or physical changes that may occur.

  • Law of definite proportions

The principle that the composition of a pure compound is always the same, regardless of its source or method of preparation.

  • Law of multiple proportions

The principle that when two elements form more than one compound, the ratios of the masses of one element that combine with a fixed mass of the other element are ratios of small whole numbers.

  • Leaching

The process of removing soluble or suspended substances from soil or other material by the action of water.

  • Least squares method

A statistical technique used to fit a mathematical function to a set of data points by minimizing the sum of the squares of the differences between the predicted values and the actual values.

  • LED

A light-emitting diode, a semiconductor device that emits light when an electric current is passed through it.

  • Lenticular

Shaped like a lens.

  • Lepton

A type of subatomic particle that does not experience the strong nuclear force and includes electrons, muons, and neutrinos.

  • Leukemia

A type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow, characterized by an abnormal increase in the number of white blood cells.

  • Lewis acid

A chemical species that can accept a pair of electrons to form a covalent bond.

  • Lewis base

A chemical species that can donate a pair of electrons to form a covalent bond.

  • Lichen

A symbiotic relationship between a fungus and a photosynthetic organism such as algae or cyanobacteria.

  • Life cycle

The sequence of stages that an organism goes through from birth to death.

  • Ligament

A strong, flexible band of connective tissue that connects bones to each other.

  • Light-year

The distance that light travels in one year, approximately 9.46 trillion kilometers.

  • Limnology

The study of freshwater ecosystems, including lakes, rivers, and wetlands.

  • Lipid

A type of organic molecule that includes fats, oils, and waxes.

  • Liquefaction

The process of converting a substance from a solid or gas to a liquid state.

  • Lithium-ion battery

A type of rechargeable battery that uses lithium ions to store and release energy.

  • Lithosphere

The outermost layer of Earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle.

  • Load

The amount

  • Magnesium

A chemical element with symbol Mg and atomic number 12.

  • Magnetic field

A field of force produced by moving electric charges, especially electrons.

  • Magnetism

The force exerted by magnets.

  • Mammal

A warm-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that is distinguished by the possession of hair or fur, the secretion of milk by females for the nourishment of the young, and (typically) the birth of live young.

  • Mass

The amount of matter in an object, typically measured in kilograms.

  • Matter

Anything that has mass and takes up space.

  • Molecule

The smallest particle of a chemical element or compound that can exist and still retain the chemical properties of that element or compound.

  • Momentum

The product of the mass and velocity of an object.

  • Mutation

A change in the DNA sequence that makes up a gene.

  • Myopia

A condition of the eye in which light is focused in front of, rather than on, the retina.

  • Nanotechnology

The branch of technology that deals with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometers, especially the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules.

  • Nervous system

The network of nerve cells and fibers that transmits nerve impulses between parts of the body.

  • Neutron

A subatomic particle with no net electric charge and a mass slightly larger than that of a proton.

  • Nitrogen

A chemical element with symbol N and atomic number 7.

  • Nonrenewable energy

Energy derived from sources that are finite, such as fossil fuels.

  • Nucleus

The positively charged central core of an atom, consisting of protons and neutrons and containing most of the mass of the atom.

  • Nutrient

A substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life.

  • Observation

The action or process of observing something or someone carefully or in order to gain information.

  • Oceanography

The branch of science that deals with the physical and biological properties and phenomena of the sea.

  • Osmosis

The process by which molecules of a solvent tend to pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one, thus equalizing the concentrations on each side of the membrane.

  • Ovary

The female reproductive organ that produces eggs.

  • Oxidation

The process of adding oxygen to a substance, or the process of removing electrons from an atom or molecule.

  • Oxygen

A chemical element with symbol O and atomic number 8.

  • Paleontology

The scientific study of fossils.

  • Particle

A minute portion of matter.

  • Photosynthesis

The process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods with the help of chlorophyll, producing oxygen as a byproduct.

  • Ph

A measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution.

  • Physiology

The branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts.

  • Planet

A celestial body that orbits around a star and is not a satellite of a planet or other celestial body.

  • Plasma

A state of matter consisting of positively and negatively charged particles.

  • Plate tectonics

The theory that the Earth’s outer shell is divided into several plates that glide over the mantle, the rocky inner layer above the core.

  • Quantum mechanics

The branch of physics that deals with the behavior of matter and energy at the smallest scale, including the subatomic level.

  • Quark

A type of elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter.

  • Quasar

A very

  • Radiation

Energy that is transmitted in the form of waves or particles

  • Radioactivity

The process by which atomic nuclei decay and emit radiation

  • Radioisotope

An isotope that is radioactive and decays to form other elements

  • Radio waves

Electromagnetic waves with long wavelengths used for communication

  • Reactant

A substance that participates in a chemical reaction

  • Reactivity

The ability of a substance to undergo chemical reactions

  • Redox reaction

A chemical reaction in which electrons are transferred between reactants

  • Refraction

The bending of light as it passes through a medium of different density

  • Relative atomic mass

The average mass of the isotopes of an element relative to the mass of carbon-12

  • Respiration

The process by which organisms produce energy from food molecules

  • RNA (ribonucleic acid)

A nucleic acid molecule that carries genetic information and is involved in protein synthesis

  • Salinity

The concentration of salt in a solution, such as seawater

  • Saturated

A solution that contains the maximum amount of solute that can be dissolved in it at a given temperature and pressure

  • Scattering

The process by which particles or waves are redirected in different directions

  • Scientific method

A systematic approach to solving problems through observation, hypothesis testing, and experimentation

  • Semiconductor

A material that has electrical conductivity between that of a conductor and an insulator

  • Solute

A substance that is dissolved in a solution

  • Solution

A homogeneous mixture of two or more substances

  • Solvent

A substance that dissolves a solute to form a solution

  • Specific heat

The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one unit of mass of a substance by one degree Celsius

  • Spectroscopy

The study of the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and matter

  • Speed

The rate at which an object changes position over time

  • Spin

A property of subatomic particles that can have two possible states, up or down

  • Standard deviation

A measure of the variation in a set of data

  • Stellar

Relating to stars or the study of stars

  • Stimulus

A signal or event that triggers a response in an organism or system

  • Stoichiometry

The study of the quantitative relationships between reactants and products in chemical reactions

  • Stratification

The formation of layers in a fluid due to differences in density or temperature

  • Subatomic

Relating to particles that are smaller than atoms, such as protons, neutrons, and electrons

  • Substance

A type of matter that has a uniform composition and properties throughout

  • Supernova

A stellar explosion that releases a tremendous amount of energy and can briefly outshine an entire galaxy

  • Surface tension

The property of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force and form a surface that behaves like a thin elastic film

  • Suspension

A mixture in which particles are dispersed in a liquid or gas but are not dissolved

  • Taxonomy

The science of identifying, classifying, and naming organisms

  • Telescope

An instrument used to observe distant objects by collecting and focusing electromagnetic radiation

  • Temperature

A measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a substance

  • Tensile strength

The maximum stress a material can withstand before breaking or deforming

  • Terminal velocity

The constant velocity of a falling object when the air resistance equals the force of gravity

  • Theory

A well-substantiated explanation of natural phenomena that is based on empirical evidence and logical reasoning

  • Ultrasonic

Sound waves with frequencies above the audible range of human hearing.

  • Ultraviolet

Electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths shorter than visible light but longer than X-rays.

  • Uniformitarianism

A principle of geology that suggests that the processes that operate today to shape the Earth have been at work throughout Earth’s history.

  • Unipolar

Having a single pole or charge, typically in reference to a magnetic field.

  • Unit cell

The smallest repeating unit of a crystal lattice.

  • Vacuum

A space devoid of matter.

  • Valence

The combining power of an element, determined by the number of electrons it can give, take, or share when forming chemical bonds.

  • Van der Waals force

A weak attractive force between molecules or atoms resulting from the fluctuations in electron density.

  • Vector

A quantity that has both magnitude and direction.

  • Velocity

The rate at which an object changes its position with respect to a frame of reference.

  • Watt

A unit of power equal to one joule per second.

  • Wave

A disturbance that travels through space and time, carrying energy without transporting matter.

  • Weak interaction

One of the four fundamental forces of nature, responsible for the radioactive decay of particles.

  • Weight

The force exerted on an object by a gravitational field.

  • Wavelength

The distance between successive crests or troughs of a wave.

  • X-axis

The horizontal axis in a Cartesian coordinate system.

  • X-ray

Electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths shorter than ultraviolet radiation but longer than gamma rays.

  • Xenon

A chemical element with the symbol Xe and atomic number 54, a member of the noble gases.

  • Xerophyte

A plant adapted to living in dry conditions.

  • Xylem

The tissue in vascular plants transports water and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the plant.

  • Year

The time it takes for the Earth to complete one orbit around the Sun, approximately 365.25 days.

  • Yellow dwarf

A type of main sequence star, like the Sun, with a surface temperature between 5,000 and 6,000 K.

  • Yield

The amount of a product obtained in a chemical reaction or industrial process.

  • Yttrium

A chemical element with the symbol Y and atomic number 39, a member of the rare earth elements.

  • Young’s modulus

A measure of the stiffness of a solid material, defined as the ratio of stress to strain.

  • Zeolite

A group of minerals with a porous structure that can trap molecules of certain sizes.

  • Zero point energy

The lowest possible energy state of a quantum mechanical system, even at absolute zero temperature.

  • Zinc

A chemical element with the symbol Zn and atomic number 30, a bluish-white metal that is a component of many alloys.

  • Zircon

A mineral commonly used in radiometric dating because it contains the radioactive isotope zirconium-238.

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