- (on a macroscopic scale) a function of thermodynamic variables, as temperature, pressure, or composition, that is a measure of the energy that is not available for work during a thermodynamic process. A closed system evolves toward a state of maximum entropy.
- (in statistical mechanics) a measure of the randomness of the microscopic constituents of a thermodynamic system. Symbol: S
QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!
OTHER WORDS FROM entropyen·tro·pic [en-troh-pik, -trop-ik], /ɛnˈtroʊ pɪk, -ˈtrɒp ɪk/, adjectiveen·tro·pi·cal·ly, adverb
Words nearby entropy
What is entropy?
Entropy is a measure of the amount of energy that is unavailable to do work in a closed system.
In science, entropy is used to determine the amount of disorder in a closed system. We have a closed system if no energy from an outside source can enter the system.
For example, an ice cube is orderly because all of its energy (heat) is tightly packed together. As the ice melts, its energy spreads out, creating disorder. The ice cube’s entropy is increasing as the ice melts into the more disorderly state of a liquid (in this case, water).
In everyday use, entropy is used more broadly to refer to a lack of pattern or an increasing disorder, as in The coach’s disorganization spread throughout the team, creating some serious entropy at soccer practice.
Example: My clean room quickly fell into entropy after my younger brother and sister had a chaotic pillow fight in it.
Where does entropy come from?
The first records of entropy come from around 1865. It comes from the German entropie, which combines the prefix en-, meaning “within or in,” and the combining form -trope, meaning “one turned toward.”
Entropy is a measure of an increasingly complex situation that is happening within a system. Unless you study thermodynamics, you are most likely to notice an increase of entropy by what happens because of it, such as a tire deflating or ice cream melting.
You’re more likely to come across the broader, unscientific use of entropy as a synonym for “increased disorder” or “a collapse.”
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to entropy?
- entropic (adjective)
- entropically (adverb)
What are some synonyms for entropy?
What are some words that share a root or word element with entropy?
What are some words that often get used in discussing entropy?
How is entropy used in real life?
Although entropy has a narrow scientific meaning, its broader meaning is more commonly used.
"Boredom is a sign of a bigger problem than just idleness; it's a lack of interests and passions." And it's this state of entropy that wastes your time and drives you deeper into your worst state.
— Мемолог (@jilka_dyrka) July 31, 2020
Deep Computer Vision for the Detection of Tantalum and Niobium Fragments in High Entropy Alloys by Akshansh Mishra via @Towards_AI → https://t.co/wxi6kFNlNV #MachineLearning #ML #ArtificialIntelligence #AI #DataScience #DeepLearning #Technology #Programming #news #research …
— Machine Learning Memoirs (@mlmemoirs) August 1, 2020
@charlania Yes – they certainly add to the entropy. (A much nicer way to describe mess!)
— Wellcome (@wellcometrust) April 18, 2013
Try using entropy!
In everyday speech, which of the following words is a synonym of entropy?
Example sentences from the Web for entropy
In Tenet, he does this with time and entropy, proposing a world in which humans have figured out how to reverse the natural process of decline and move backward.The ancient palindrome that explains Christopher Nolan’s Tenet|Alissa Wilkinson|September 4, 2020|Vox
If the entropy of the rubber’s molecular configuration decreases, then the entropy must increase elsewhere.
In a piece of rubber like Gough’s, the increase in entropy happens in the vibrational motion of the molecules.
While entropy is related to a system’s disorder, it’s more precisely described as a measure of the number of configurations a system can have.
According to the second law of thermodynamics, the total entropy of a closed system must increase, or at least remain constant.
Until Tuesday, Occupy Wall Street seemed, at least from the outside, to be entering a stage of entropy.Harsh NYPD Action May Reinvigorate Occupy Wall Street Movement|Michelle Goldberg|November 16, 2011|DAILY BEAST
The summation is defined as the increase in entropy between the initial and the final states.The New Gresham Encyclopedia|Various
All organic life and movement must cease when this maximum of entropy has been reached.
The reader is therefore warned that the proper way to say it is, "the entropy of the universe tends to a maximum."Major Prophets of To-Day|Edwin E. Slosson
Mirrors of anti-entropy shifted, assumed different angles, and the Invincible sheered off.
When they pierced the anti-entropy, they would cut through the steel plates of the Invincible like so much paper!
British Dictionary definitions for entropy
noun plural -pies
Word Origin for entropy
Medical definitions for entropy
Other words from entropyen•tro′pic (ĕn-trō′pĭk, -trŏp′ĭk) adj.
Scientific definitions for entropy
Cultural definitions for entropy
A measure of the disorder of any system, or of the unavailability of its heat energy for work. One way of stating the second law of thermodynamics — the principle that heat will not flow from a cold to a hot object spontaneously — is to say that the entropy of an isolated system can, at best, remain the same and will increase for most systems. Thus, the overall disorder of an isolated system must increase.