Science & Technology

  1. Coronavirus: The Words You Need To Understand The News

    by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com The situation of the coronavirus outbreak is changing fast. And news and information about the disease can be overwhelming, not least of which are the many new, confusing, and technical terms being used about the outbreak. Understanding these terms is essential to helping people stay informed and safe—and we take seriously our role in defining and explaining …

  2. Science Vocab Activities For Elementary Students

    Science and English meet in these vocab activities for elementary students Help your child learn scientific vocab with these learning games. Learning animal vocabulary Watch this video about words for baby animals. Complete this word search. Find the words they learned about in the video. Click the image to get the printable word search PDF. Parents: write each one of the baby animal words on …

  3. What Is The Difference Between “Furlough” vs. “Layoff”?

    by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com The coronavirus pandemic isn’t only affecting people’s health and safety. It is also impacting people’s livelihoods as the virus hits the economy. Cancellations, quarantines, and social distancing are causing many companies to furlough or lay off employees—and in some instances, both.  But what is the difference between furloughs and layoffs? For health, safety, and medical emergencies or …

  4. “Climactic” vs. “Climatic”

    There’s nothing worse than getting ensconced in a book that’s building up to a big moment … only to be interrupted and have to put it down before the most exciting part. Are you missing out on the climatic moment? Or was it the climactic scene that got disturbed before you could read it through? Although they look and sound alike, these two adjectives are …

  5. Cyclone vs. Typhoon vs. Hurricane: Are They All The Same?

    Are hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons distinct meteorological phenomena, or just different names for the same horrible type of storm? Cyclones explained Let’s start with cyclone, since it has the clearest and most precise definition of the three. A cyclone is “a large-scale, atmospheric wind-and-pressure system characterized by low pressure at its center and by circular wind motion.”  Cyclones spin “counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, clockwise in the …

  6. What Is The Difference Between A “Respirator” And A “Ventilator”?

    by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com During the coronavirus break, you may have heard that hospital and healthcare providers have faced a shortage of respirators and ventilators, two critical tools in fighting the infection. Now, many of us know that both respirators and ventilators deal with breathing in some way, but may be confused about the difference between them. Are they both just …

  7. What Is The Difference Between “Quarantine” And “Isolation”?

    by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com During public health emergencies, like the outbreak of the coronavirus, it’s essential to stay informed. But a lot of that information, when it’s not misleading, can be overwhelming and confusing—down to the very words we use to talk about a crisis. What’s COVID-19? Is that the same thing as coronavirus? Is the disease an epidemic or pandemic? …

  8. “Latitude” vs. “Longitude”

    Was the thought of identifying latitude and longitude on a map in geography class one of your high-key stressors? Well, you’re not the only anxiety-ridden test taker out there! The concept of measuring Earth by coordinates isn’t an overwhelmingly hard concept to grasp, but identifying the difference between these two words can be a little tough. Since they are both units of measurement that help …

  9. It’s Time To Learn Some Time Zone Terminology

    No one truly needs a watch these days. We all have clocks in our pockets—our smartphones. Another benefit of this technology? The clock on our smartphone automatically changes when we enter a new time zone. Amazing! But, even though we don’t need to pay as much attention to time zones these days, that doesn’t mean they don’t still impact our lives. Let’s synchronize our watches …

  10. Tax Words To Learn Right Now (Or At Least Before April 15)

    As the saying goes, there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. This saying dates all the way back to 1716, and the word tax is even older than that. Tax, meaning “a sum of money demanded by a government,” comes from the Latin taxare, meaning “censure, charge, tax with a fault,” and dates to around the 1200s. For centuries, taxes have been …