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noun Physics.
  1. 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


noun Geology.
  1. a vast area covered with sand and shifting dunes, as parts of the Sahara Desert.

Origin of erg2

1870–75; < French < Arabic ʾirq


  1. electroretinogram.


  1. a combining form meaning “work”: ergograph.
Also especially before a vowel, erg-.

Origin of ergo-1

combining form representing Greek érgon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.

    Standard Selections


  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for erg


  1. the cgs unit of work or energy. 1 erg is equivalent to 10 –7 joule

Word Origin

C19: from Greek ergon work


noun plural ergs or areg
  1. an area of shifting sand dunes in a desert, esp the Sahara

Word Origin

C19: from Arabic `irj


  1. informal short for ergometer (def. 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

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

erg in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. 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.


  1. electroretinogram


  1. Work:ergometer.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

erg in Science


  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.


  1. An extensive area of desert covered with shifting sand dunes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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