Origin of heat

before 900; Middle English hete, Old English hǣtu; akin to German Hitze; see hot
Related formsheat·a·ble, adjectiveheat·ful, adjectiveheat·less, adjectiveheat·like, adjectivere·heat, verbre·heat·a·ble, adjectiveself-heat·ing, adjectiveun·der·heat, verb (used with object)un·heat·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for heat

Antonyms for heat

1. coolness. 11. indifference. 21. cool.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for heating

Contemporary Examples of heating

Historical Examples of heating

British Dictionary definitions for heating



a device or system for supplying heat, esp central heating, to a building
the heat supplied



  1. the energy transferred as a result of a difference in temperature
  2. the random kinetic energy of the atoms, molecules, or ions in a substance or body
Related adjectives: thermal, calorific
the sensation caused in the body by heat energy; warmth
the state or quality of being hot
hot weatherthe heat of summer
intensity of feeling; passionthe heat of rage
pressurethe political heat on the government over the economy
the most intense or active partthe heat of the battle
a period or condition of sexual excitement in female mammals that occurs at oestrus
  1. a preliminary eliminating contest in a competition
  2. a single section of a contest
slang police activity after a crimethe heat is off
mainly US slang criticism or abusehe took a lot of heat for that mistake
in the heat of the moment without pausing to think
on heat or in heat
  1. Also: in season(of some female mammals) sexually receptive
  2. in a state of sexual excitement
the heat slang the police
turn up the heat or turn on the heat informal to increase the intensity of activity, coercion, etc


to make or become hot or warm
to make or become excited or intense
Derived Formsheatless, adjective

Word Origin for heat

Old English hǣtu; related to hāt hot, Old Frisian hēte heat, Old High German heizī
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 heating



Old English hætan "to heat; to become hot," from Proto-Germanic *haitijanam (see heat (n.)). Related: Heated (with many variants in Middle English); heating. Cf. Middle Dutch heeten, Dutch heten, German heizen "to heat."



Old English hætu, hæto "heat, warmth; fervor ardor," from Proto-Germanic *haiti- "heat" (cf. Old Saxon hittia, Old Norse hiti, Old Frisian hete, German hitze "heat," Gothic heito "fever"), from PIE *kaid-, from root *kai- "heat." The same root is the source of Old English hat "hot" and hæða "hot weather" (see hot).

Meaning "a single course in a race," especially a horse race, is from 1660s, perhaps from earlier figurative sense of "violent action; a single intense effort" (late 14c.), or meaning "run given to a horse to prepare for a race" (1570s). This later expanded to "division of a race or contest when there are too many contestants to run at once," the winners of each heat then competing in a final race. Meaning "sexual excitement in animals" is from 1768. Meaning "trouble with the police" attested by 1920. Heat wave "period of excessive hot weather" first attested 1890; earlier in reference to solar cycles.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

heating in Medicine




A form of energy associated with the motion of atoms or molecules and capable of being transmitted through solid and fluid media by conduction, through fluid media by convection, and through empty space by radiation.
The sensation or perception of such energy as warmth or hotness.
An abnormally high bodily temperature, as from a fever.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

heating in Science



Internal energy that is transferred to a physical system from outside the system because of a difference in temperature and does not result in work done by the system on its surroundings. Absorption of energy by a system as heat takes the form of increased kinetic energy of its molecules, thus resulting in an increase in temperature of the system. Heat is transferred from one system to another in the direction of higher to lower temperature. See also thermodynamics. See Note at temperature.
See estrus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

heating in Culture


In physics, a form of energy associated with the movement of atoms and molecules in any material. The higher the temperature of a material, the faster the atoms are moving, and hence the greater the amount of energy present as heat. (See infrared radiation.)

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.

Idioms and Phrases with heating


In addition to the idioms beginning with heat

  • heat up

also see:

  • dead heat
  • in heat
  • in the heat of the moment
  • turn up the heat
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.