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energetics, n.

Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Formed within English, by conversion. Etymon: energetic adj.
Etymology: < energetic adj.: see -ic suffix 2.
In sense 2   probably after German Energetik (1882 or earlier in this sense; 1863 or earlier in sense 1a). Compare slightly earlier energeticist n. 2.

 a. The branch of science concerned with the use, transfer, loss, etc., of energy in physical, chemical, and biological systems and processes.

1855   W. J. M. Rankine in Proc. Philos. Soc. Glasgow 3 381 (title)    Outlines of the science of energetics.
1929   J. Dewey Organization of Knowl. xiv. 267   The transference of radiant energy, or radiant matter, is comprehended by the theories of energetics, of electronics, of electrodynamics, and of thermodynamics.
1990   Sciences Mar. 33/1   Determining exactly how the pork is converted into energy..is a matter that continues to confound scientists investigating energetics.
2016   Consilience 16 80   From an ecological perspective, there are fundamental thermodynamic laws of energetics.

1855—2016(Hide quotations)


 b. With plural concord. The properties of energy use, transfer, loss, etc., within a system or process.

1878   Encycl. Brit. VIII. 89/1   A considerable share of attention is devoted to the energetics of the electric circuit.
1912   Science 19 July 80/2   Dr. Otto Glaser..has been granted $275 for equipment for his studies on the energetics of embryogenesis.
1978   Nature 23 Mar. 336/1   Monotremes and marsupials, whose ancestors were at one time diurnal, have acquired typical mammalian-type energetics.
2003   BioScience 53 1171/1   Urban ecosystems have..unique energetics (antientropic in the extreme).

1878—2003(Hide quotations)


 2. orig. and chiefly Physics. The doctrine or theory that changes in energy form the basis of all physical phenomena, and that energy is the fundamental constituent of the universe; = energeticism n. 2. Now hist.

1892   Jrnl. Chem. Soc. 62 1149   Studies on Energetics. By W. Ostwald...—The author emphasises the fact that energy is the only magnitude common to all branches of physics... He therefore proposes that..mass should be replaced as a fundamental unit by energy.
1914   Knowledge Sept. 349/2   The ideas of energetics have replaced those of atomics, but the atomic language remains.
1976   P. Clark in C. Howson Method & Appraisal in Physical Sci. 77   The law of the conservation of energy became the first law of energetics.
2007   Brit. Jrnl. Hist. Sci. 40 iii. 36   Ostwald's critique of mechanics and defence of energetics at Lübeck in 1895.

1892—2007(Hide quotations)


 3. In various types of holistic medicine, esp. acupuncture: the flow of energy in the body; any of various therapies based on achieving a balanced flow of energy in the body, frequently employing techniques such as massage, deep breathing, and talking. Cf. bioenergetics n. 2, energy n. 8.

1962   F. Mann Acupuncture: Anc. Chinese Art of Healing xi. 129   Every acupuncture point, in addition to effects that it may have on general energetics or on distant parts of the body, has an effect on its immediate vicinity.
1984   Proc. 10th Ann. Internat. Conf. Vet. Acupuncture, Austin, Texas (Internat. Vet. Acupuncture Soc.) 32   Insomnia, restlessness..etc., indicate a ‘Heart energy’ upset... Classical AP [i.e. acupuncture] is a system of Energetics and Correspondences. The..practitioner is interested in symptomatology only in so far as it indicates which organ-meridian systems are out of balance.
1997   Utne Reader Feb. 63/1   People..seeking out approaches such as..bioenergetics (which uses analysis of the body to discover psychological character), and core energetics (which combines touch, talk, and spirituality in therapy).
2013   Sunday Mail (Brisbane) (Nexis) 12 May (Body & Soul section) 2   Restoring the flow of Qi and the appropriate energetics to the body is vital to restoring balance and allowing the body to heal.

1962—2013(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, June 2018).

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