[ ad-ee-uh-bat-ik, ey-dahy-uh- ]
/ ˌæd i əˈbæt ɪk, ˌeɪ daɪ ə- /


occurring without gain or loss of heat (opposed to diabatic): an adiabatic process.

Origin of adiabatic

1875–80; < Greek adiábat(os) incapable of being crossed (a- a-6 + dia- dia- + ba- (stem of baínein to cross) + -tos verbal adjective suffix) + -ic; cf. diabatic


ad·i·a·bat·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for adiabatic

British Dictionary definitions for adiabatic

/ (ˌædɪəˈbætɪk, ˌeɪ-) /


(of a thermodynamic process) taking place without loss or gain of heat


a curve or surface on a graph representing the changes in two or more characteristics (such as pressure and volume) of a system undergoing an adiabatic process

Word Origin for adiabatic

C19: from Greek adiabatos not to be crossed, impassable (to heat), from a- 1 + diabatos passable, from dia- across + bainein to go
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

Scientific definitions for adiabatic

[ ăd′ē-ə-bătĭk ]

Occurring without gain or loss of heat. When a gas is compressed under adiabatic conditions, its pressure increases and its temperature rises without the gain or loss of any heat. Conversely, when a gas expands under adiabatic conditions, its pressure and temperature both decrease without the gain or loss of heat. The adiabatic cooling of air as it rises in the atmosphere is the main cause of cloud formation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.