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[urg] /ɜrg/
noun, Physics.
the centimeter-gram-second unit of work or energy, equal to the work done by a force of one dyne when its point of application moves through a distance of one centimeter in the direction of the force; 10− 7 joule.
Origin of erg1
1870-75; < Greek érgon work


[erg] /ɛrg/
noun, Geology.
a vast area covered with sand and shifting dunes, as parts of the Sahara Desert.
1870-75; < French < Arabic ʾirq


a combining form meaning “work”:
Also, especially before a vowel, erg-.
combining form representing Greek érgon Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for erg
Historical Examples
  • Ef I ax fer er million er money, hit 'u'd be 'cause I'd natch'ly want ter quit work, an' dat's erg'in' his law.

  • They are as the sands of the erg, and they have the weapons of the djinn, as each man knows.

    Border, Breed Nor Birth Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • He could make more time now when less of his attention was drawn to the ups and downs of erg travel.

    Border, Breed Nor Birth Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • These buildings skirt the gardens outside the erg Palace on the south and east.

    At the Court of the Amr John Alfred Gray
  • And it has great energy, and will expend every erg of that energy of existence to continue existence.

    Invaders from the Infinite

    John Wood Campbell
  • The unit of work is that which is required to overcome a resistance of a dyne over a centimetre, and is called an erg.

  • Our horses were brought to the door, and we rode, accompanied by our guard and an interpreter, to the erg Palace.

    At the Court of the Amr John Alfred Gray
  • Accordingly, I gathered myself together, mounted my horse, and rode slowly to the erg Palace.

    At the Court of the Amr John Alfred Gray
  • Presently we arrived at the erg Palace, and, leaving our horses at the gate, were at once admitted by the sentry.

    At the Court of the Amr John Alfred Gray
  • A beam behind which was every erg of energy that the gigantic mechanisms of the planetoid could yield.

    Triplanetary Edward Elmer Smith
British Dictionary definitions for erg


the cgs unit of work or energy. 1 erg is equivalent to 10–7 joule
Word Origin
C19: from Greek ergon work


noun (pl) ergs, areg
an area of shifting sand dunes in a desert, esp the Sahara
Word Origin
C19: from Arabic `irj


(informal) short for ergometer (sense 2)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for erg

unit of energy in the C.G.S. system, coined 1873 by the British Association for the Advancement of Science from Greek ergon "work" (see urge (v.)).


"region of drifting sand dunes," 1875, from French erg (1854), from North African Arabic 'irj, from a Berber word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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erg in Medicine

erg (ûrg)
The centimeter-gram-second unit of energy or work equal to the work done by a force of one dyne acting over a distance of one centimeter.

ERG abbr.

ergo- pref.
Work: ergometer.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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erg in Science
erg 1
The unit of energy or work in the centimeter-gram-second system, equal to the force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter. This unit has been mostly replaced by the joule.
erg 2
An extensive area of desert covered with sand dunes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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