[ en-troh-pik, -trop-ik ]


  1. Thermodynamics. of or relating to entropy, a measure of the thermal energy unavailable for work, or of the constituent randomness, in a process or system:

    At very small scales, the entropic effects become significant, so a more intricate analysis, incorporating thermal fluctuations, is needed in the study of biopolymers.

  2. (in data transmission and information theory) of or relating to entropy, a measure of the information lost in a transmitted signal or message:

    In an oral culture, only those thoughts that can be formulated into sayings, proverbs, and other dicta are likely to survive the entropic effects of oral transmission.

  3. (in cosmology) relating to or characterized by entropy, a hypothetical tendency for the universe to attain a state of maximum homogeneity:

    As entropy grows, the system loses dynamism, to the point that a perfectly entropic universe would be a smooth and inert field of matter.

  4. chaotic; without form or order:

    The opening poem presents an entropic clashing of voice and breath.

    Nature is inherently wild and entropic, and yet we persist in expending energy to force it into submission.

  5. relating to or characterized by a doctrine of inevitable social decline and degeneration:

    Response to the rioting was harsh, shoring up state control and warding off the outbreak of further social unrest, that is, the entropic degradation of the system.

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Other Words From

  • en·tro·pi·cal·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

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Example Sentences

The big difference from what entropy does is that growth of complexity reflects an increase of order, not disorder.

The entropy has to stop rising and start dropping if it is to hit zero by the endpoint.

Initially, as radiation trickles out, the entanglement entropy grows.

Early in the evaporation process, they found, as expected, that the entanglement entropy of the boundary rose.

So trying to talk about whether entropy should increase becomes very distracting.


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