- Thermodynamics. any environment or medium that absorbs heat.
- Also heat·sink. Electronics. a metallic heat exchanger designed to absorb and dissipate excess heat from one of the devices, as a transistor or resistor, in a circuit.
Origin of heat sink
First recorded in 1935–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a metal plate specially designed to conduct and radiate heat from an electrical component
- a layer of material placed within the outer skin of high-speed aircraft to absorb heat
- A protective device that absorbs and dissipates the excess heat generated by a system.
- An environment capable of absorbing heat from substances within it (and with which it is in thermal contact) without an appreciable change in its own temperature and without a change in its own phase.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A reservoir for excess heat, especially in a mechanical or electrical device.
One obstacle to the loading of circuits onto microprocessors is the heat generated by electrical circuits. Effective heat sinks, such as metal fins on top of a microprocessor, can provide part of the solution to this problem.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.