We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out moreJump to Main NavigationJump to Content
  • Text size: A
  • A

energy, n.


α. 15–16 enargie, 15–16 energye, 15–17 energie, 15– energy, 16 enargy.

β. 15 energeia, 15–16 (18– chiefly in sense 6c) energia.

(Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Of multiple origins. Partly a borrowing from Latin. Partly a borrowing from Greek. Etymons: Latin energia; Greek ἐνέργεια.
Etymology: < post-classical Latin energia (also energeia) (in rhetoric) vigour of style (2nd or 3rd cent.), type of metaphor (4th cent.), power, strength (4th cent.), activity, operation, efficacy (4th cent.; from 12th cent. in British sources), actuality (5th or 6th cent.; from c1200 in British sources), and its etymon ancient Greek ἐνέργεια activity, operation, (in rhetoric) type of metaphor, (in philosophy) actuality, in Hellenistic Greek also (of drugs) efficacy < ἐνεργής   active, effective ( < ἐν-  en- prefix2   + ἔργον   work: see erg n.1) + -ια  -y suffix3.
Compare earlier energial adj.
Compare Middle French energie   (French énergie  ) efficacy (c1500), force of expression (1602 in the passage translated in quot. 1603 at sense 2a, or earlier), vigour, intensity (1790), Spanish energía   (beginning of the 17th cent.), Portuguese energía  , Italian energia   (both late 16th cent.).
Specific senses.
Senses 2   and 3   ultimately reflect ancient Greek ἐνέργεια   as used by Aristotle, whereas sense 1   corresponds to that of ancient Greek δύναμις   (see dynamic adj.).
Aristotle uses ancient Greek ἐνέργεια   in rhetoric ( Rhetoric 3. 11. 2) for a species of metaphor which calls up a mental picture of something in action. Post-classical Latin energia   has both this sense and the sense ‘vigour of style’, which gives rise to sense 2a. In modern use it merges into sense 5a.
With sense 3c   compare energizer n. 1.
In sense 6c   introduced by Robert Hunt ( Res. Light iii. ii. 269) and ultimately modelled by him on ancient Greek ἐνεργῆμα action, activity, operation.
In sense 10   in the specific use with reference to the work of Carl Jung, after German psychische Energie (1917 or earlier in Jung; already a1805 in Schiller, although he uses it in a broader sense).

1. As a general concept: power, strength, force; the ability or capacity to produce an effect. Obsolete.Other senses of the word typically arise as more specific applications of this general concept.

1545   E. Walshe Office & Duety Fighting for Countrey sig. C.iv   Which I doubt not hath efficace strengthe and energie to chaunge the very cowarde harte to be hardie bolde and coragious.
1556   J. Olde tr. R. Gwalther Antichrist sig. M8v   Faithe is a certain lyuing and a continuall working power & energie, that sitteth not idle in mennes consciences.
1618   T. Gainsford True Hist. P. Warbeck 16   Like certaine kinds of burs and nettles, which soughtly handled sting the more violently, but hardly crushed together lose their force and energie.
1624   W. Ingpen Secrets of Numbers xiv. 81   Mysticall and Symbolicall Numbers. I Call them so, that..represent some vnknown power or energie, or..contain some Secret in them.
a1676   M. Hale Primitive Originat. Mankind (1677) i. i. 26   We find in so small a particle of a created Being this admirable energy.
1691   T. Hale Acct. New Inventions p. xxiii   Some vain Authors have essayed in print to give reasons for such energy of that Fish.
a1732   F. Atterbury Serm. Several Occas. (1734) II. 253   Discoursing of the Energy, and Power of Church Musick.
1753   T. Ashton Serm. Sons of Clergy 16   The unrestrained power of that master..whose healing energy dispeopled countries of their diseased.
a1790   W. Cullen Wks. (1827) I. 65   A particular power there [i.e. in the brain], of which we shall speak under the name of animal power, or energy of the brain.
1836   G. P. R. James Lives Most Eminent Foreign Statesmen 33   They..were united in a bond of union which gave energy to small means.
1887   J. R. Lowell Democracy 36   Institutions which could bear and breed such men as Lincoln and Emerson had surely some energy for good.

1545—1887(Hide quotations)


 a. Chiefly Rhetoric. As a quality of written or spoken language, or of a specific word or phrase: the capacity to effectively or cogently express a meaning or convey an idea; effectiveness or power of expression. Now rare.

?1549   J. Hooper Declar. 10 Commandm. viii. p. cxxvii   The whiche word in the Ebrew hathe a greater energie and strenghe then one word in latyne or Englishe can expresse.
1565   W. Alley Πτωχομυσεῖον ii. iii. f. 38v   Regenuit nos in spem viuam: He begat vs agayne to a liuely hope. This phrase of speakyng hath a greater energie, then if he should haue sayd, he hath restored lyfe agayne vnto vs.
1603   J. Florio tr. Montaigne Ess. iii. v. 525   By some of these words which I have culled out, we more hardly perceiue the Energie [Fr. l'energie] or effectuall opperation of them.
1669   W. Holder Elem. Speech 8   When animated by Elocution, it [sc. Speech] acquires a greater life, and energie.
1729   T. Stackhouse Compl. Body Divinity iv. i. §2. 576   These..are all of them Terms of a peculiar Energy.
1828   R. Whately Elements Rhetoric iii. ii. 248   The transposition of words which the ancient languages admit of, conduces, not merely to variety, but to Energy.
1850   R. W. Emerson Shakspeare in Representative Men v. 197   The Liturgy, admired for its energy and pathos.
1937   S.P.E. Tract (Soc. for Pure Eng.) No. XLIX. 303   The predominant quality of Shakespeare's compound epithets, indeed, is ‘energeia’, or power of forcible expression.

?1549—1937(Hide quotations)


b. As a quality of work or action: the capacity to produce an effect; efficacy, potency. Obsolete.

1668   R. Stedman Mystical Union sig. a2v   One plain truth..will be of more advantage,..than multitudes of notions, that lie only floating in the head, and do not descend with energy, upon the conscience.
1670   W. Simpson Hydrol. Ess. 76   It is most what from the weight of that Water pressing upon those Emunctories, which chiefly gives energy to its Operation.
1712   G. Smalridge Serm. preach'd at St. James's (octavo ed.) 9   Beg the Blessed Jesus..to give an Energy to their Imperfect Prayers.
1726   E. Fenton in Pope et al. tr. Homer Odyssey V. xx. 226   Blows have more energy than airy words.
1788   H. Fuseli tr. J. C. Lavater Aphorisms on Man 12   Wishes run over in loquacious impotence, will presses on with laconic energy.

1668—1788(Hide quotations)


c. As a quality of an event: the capacity to effectively make an impression or convey a message; impressiveness. Obsolete. rare.

1764   T. Harmer Observ. Passages Script. ii. 7   This thunder..added considerably to the energy of this event [sc. Saul's inauguration].

1764—1764(Hide quotations)


 a. Metaphysics. The active operation or actual working of something, as opposed to its potential or capacity to operate. Also more generally: action, activity. Obsolete.This sense corresponds to ἐνέργεια in Aristotelian metaphysics; see note in etymology.

1585   J. Blagrave Math. Iewel iii. lxxix. 63   In the new circuit of euery yeere, there happen vnto our bodies new powers or influences of the starres by the Energeia of the Sunne.
1628   W. Sparke Myst. of Godlinesse i. i. 18   To liue is to be doing, for life is the energie of nature, and consists in action.
1642   H. More Ψυχωδια Platonica Interpr. Unusuall Names sig. Q3   Energie..is the operation, efflux or activity of any being: as the light of the Sunne is the energie of the Sunne, and every phantasm of the soul is the energie of the soul.
a1721   J. Skepp Divine Energy (1722) 157   Faith..must be wrought in the Soul by the Energy or Operation of God.
1789   Ld. Monboddo Of Origin & Progress of Lang. V. ii. iii. 387   Aristotle..makes a distinction betwixt the Νους, or Intelligence,..and the Νοησις, or the actual operation or energy of the Νους.
a1856   W. Hamilton Lect. Metaphysics (1859) II. xxi. 25   The faculty of which this act of revocation is the energy, I call the Reproductive.
1861   T. Graham in Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 151 184   The colloid possesses Energia. It may be looked upon as the probable primary source of the force appearing in the phenomena of vitality.

1585—1861(Hide quotations)


 b. A form or instance of activity or operation, esp. one which occurs in nature; an action. Obsolete.

1626   Bacon Sylua Syluarum §938   Visibles, and Audibles,..are not Effectiue of any Thing; Nor leaue no Worke behinde them; But are Energies meerely; For their Working vpon Mirrours, and Places of Eccho, doth not alter any Thing in those Bodies; But it is the same Action with the Originall, onely Repercussed.
1661   J. Glanvill Vanity of Dogmatizing x. 91   Within the Flame,..the more violent motion of the particles..begets in us a stronger sense [of heat]. Now if this motive Energie, the Instrument of this active Element [sc. Fire], must be called Heat..I contend not.
1712   Bibliotheca Anatomica II. 607/2   This stupendous Effect he contents himself to ascribe to the Energy of Percussion.
1744   J. Harris Three Treat. i. 33   Call every Production, the Parts of which exist successively..a Motion or an Energy—Thus a Tune and a Dance are Energies.
1783   in Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 73 160   Nature unquestionably abounds with numberless unthought-of energies, and modes of working.
1833   I. Taylor Fanaticism ii. 42   The transition of the passions from momentary energies to settled dispositions.

1626—1833(Hide quotations)


 c. Grammar. The action denoted by a verb; (also) a verb which denotes an action. Cf. energizer n. 1. Obsolete.This term was introduced by James Harris; cf. quots. 17511, 17512.

1751   J. Harris Hermes i. ix. 173   All Verbs, that are strictly so called, denote Energies.
1751   J. Harris Hermes i. ix. 175   Brutus loved Portia.—Here Brutus is the Energizer; loved, the Energy, and Portia, the Subject.
1831   S. Alexander Pract. & Logical Ess. Syntax (ed. 3) 54   The infinitive ambulare, to walk, means simply, that energy, and nothing more.
1844   N. F. Moore Short Introd. to Universal Gram. (Columbia Coll., N.Y.) 17   The energy is called active or passive, according as the energizer or the object leads the sentence.
1873   W. V. Yates Civil Service Eng. Gram. ii. 34   The Voice of a verb is the form which the verb takes to express whether the agent or the object of the energy signified is the subject of the sentence.

1751—1873(Hide quotations)

 4. In plural.

a. The collective activities or actions of a person, group, or other entity, esp. with reference to a particular context or purpose. Obsolete.Passing into sense 4b.

1747   Museum 24 May 189   The Perfection of a Statuary is not seen 'till his Energies are over, and the Statue is finished.
1786   Trans. India from Commencement French War viii. 257   It is owing..to a total want of union in their energies, and to an infinite diversity in the objects of their respective politics, that they have hitherto repelled successfully the encroachments of each other.
1861   T. E. May Constit. Hist. Eng. I. i. 6   The troublesome energies of Parliament.

1747—1861(Hide quotations)


 b. The collective physical and mental powers or efforts of a person, group, or other entity.

1784   W. Godwin Imogen II. v. 81   All the energies of her soul had been exerted to encounter the trials and surmount the difficulties which she felt to be unavoidable.
1804   W. L. Bowles Spirit of Discov. i. 18   From sleep The sullen energies of man rouse up, As of a slumb'ring giant.
1854   Edinb. Christian Mag. 6 No. 1. 4/1   The liberal man occupies his thoughts, and exerts his energies, and devotes his time on behalf of the poor.
1865   Dickens Our Mutual Friend II. iii. iv. 24   Bella and the fowls, by the united energies of two horses, two men, four wheels, and a plum-pudding carriage dog.., were deposited at the door.
1908   Mod. Business Aug. 69/1   Another valuable outlet for its energies is the management of a Works Kitchen.
1928   A. Huxley Point Counter Point xxvi. 444   Shall I ever have the strength of mind to..devote my energies to the more serious and difficult task of living integrally?
1984   Washington Post 4 Mar. (Book World section) 12/1   The damn machines [sc. computers] begin to fascinate, take increasingly more of your free time and money, absorb all your energies.
2017   Town & Country May 84/4   Eventually he relinquished his winemaking duties to devote his energies to the vineyard's tractor.

1784—2017(Hide quotations)


 a. As a quality of movement, activity, speech, art, etc.: vigour; intensity; forcefulness.

1783   W. Godwin Hist. Life W. Pitt v. 153   It was here, that Mr. Pitt exerted himself with uncommon energy.
1815   European Mag. 68 154   The coda concludes the piece with spirit and energy.
1833   N. Hawthorne Canterbury Pilgrims in Token & Atlantic Souvenir 158   During this harangue, the speaker gesticulated with great energy.
1856   E. K. Kane Arctic Explor. I. xi. 121   When the hatches were opened, the flame burst out with energy.
1882   J. Muir in Cent. Mag. July 390/2   Sauntering in the bee-lands in the sun-days of summer, one may readily infer the time of day from the comparative energy of bee-movements alone.
1921   E. Ferber Girls ix. 172   The swinging door whiffed and whoofed with the energy of her exit as she passed into the kitchen.
1974   Transcript (North Adams, Mass.) 14 Mar. 3/3   All of them [sc. the characters]..describe insects, drowning, and the falling off of heads with great animation and energy.
1996   Big Issue 8 July 32/4   A performance of extreme energy and volume-10 aggression.
2003   W. C. Crain Reclaiming Childhood (2004) ix. 160   If we provide the right tasks, they will work on them with great energy and enthusiasm.

1783—2003(Hide quotations)


 b. As a personal quality or resource: a capacity for or tendency towards (sustained) exertion or effort; mental, physical, or emotional strength and vitality; vigour; dynamism.

1793   W. Godwin Enq. Polit. Justice I. iii. vii. 180   Among the ancients what could be better assorted than a pure democracy to the intellectual acuteness and impetuous energy of the Athenians?
1800   E. Hamilton Mem. Mod. Philosophers I. x. 52   If I had energy sufficient to dare to meet him in the arbour at the bottom of the garden.., he would acknowledge his error, and adore me.
1841   R. W. Emerson Prudence in Ess. 1st Ser. (London ed.) 223   The poet admires the man of energy and tactics.
1855   Macaulay Hist. Eng. III. xvi. 726   He took his measures with his usual energy and dexterity.
1892   Science 27 May 296/2   Dr. Storer..used little of his energy in searching for generalizations.
1918   Cosmopolitan Jan. 67/2   Some individuals appear to lack energy, when, as a fact, they are full of energy which is merely dormant.
1937   M. Allingham Dancers in Mourning xvii. 217   Her energy, her constant nattering at one.
1976   Glasgow Herald 26 Nov. 6/4   Unless people are prepared to devote time and energy to that end there can only be a third world war.
1998   P. Turnbull Man with No Face (U.S. ed.) 229   If you're tired you're less strong, you don't have the energy to say no to people.
2014   Destin (Florida) Log (Nexis) 11 Nov. (State & Regional News section)   ‘I absolutely love it,’ she said... ‘I wake up full of energy and ready to go.’

1793—2014(Hide quotations)

 a. Physics.

 (a) The potential or capacity of a body or system to do work (work n. 10) by virtue of its motion, position, chemical structure, etc., frequently regarded as a quantifiable attribute or property which can be acquired, transferred, and expended.Originally: a measure of motion or activity equivalent to vis viva (vis viva at vis n.2 2c) and interpreted as the potential or capacity of a body to perform work by virtue of its motion. Cf. kinetic energy at kinetic adj. 2a.The relationship between energy and mass, as first stated in Einstein's theory of special relativity, is given by the equation E = mc2, where E is the total energy of a body or system, m is its relativistic mass, and c is the speed of light. The total energy E includes the rest energy of the body or system, which it possesses by virtue of having mass, in addition to any energy the body or system may possess by virtue of its motion, position, etc.Energy is expressed in a variety of units, such as the joule, calorie, foot-pound, etc., the joule being the fundamental unit of energy in the SI system of scientific units.

1802   T. Young Syllabus Course Lect. Nat. Philos. I. ix. 18   The product of the mass of a body into the square of its velocity may properly be termed its energy.
1853   W. J. M. Rankine in London, Edinb., & Dublin Philos. Mag. 4th Ser. 5 106   In this investigation the term energy is used to comprehend every affection of substances which constitutes or is commensurable with a power of producing change in opposition to resistance, and includes ordinary motion and mechanical power, chemical action, heat, light, electricity, magnetism, and all other powers, known or unknown.
1867   W. Thomson & P. G. Tait Treat. Nat. Philos. I. 194   In every case in which energy is lost by resistance, heat is generated.
1889   Rep. Brit. Assoc. Advancem. Sci. 1888 791   The engineer says distinctly: ‘Electricity is a form of energy—it is not a form of matter.’
1936   Nature 25 Jan. 135/1   As a consequence of the theory of relativity.., mass and energy are equivalent, and mass is to be regarded in a sense as a concentrated source of energy.
1953   Sci. Amer. Apr. 86/3   Breaking one of the first two phosphate bonds [of the ATP molecule] releases 12,000 calories of energy.
1981   E. R. Harrison Cosmology viii. 174/2   Radiation escaping from a body like a star or a planet loses energy because of the pull of gravity.
2014   Walla Walla (Washington) Union-Bull. 26 Sept. a 5/1   This stream [of electrically charged particles] is called the solar wind and carries energy from the sun to Earth.

1802—2014(Hide quotations)


 (b) As a count noun: a particular quantity of this capacity or property possessed by a given body or system, or required for a given process to take place.

1802   T. Young Syllabus Course Lect. Nat. Philos. I. 19   The velocities will be C+B and C-A respectively, and the joint energies will be A.(C+B)2+B.(C-A)2.
1882   Firemen's Mag. July 307/1   To lift a weight of two pounds, we must furnish from our muscles an energy twice as great—that is to say, two foot-pounds.
1947   Physical Rev. 72 1114/1   At sufficiently high energies the nucleus begins to be transparent to the bombarding particles.
1994   Science 11 Feb. 733/1   Each of these fragments, on impact with Jupiter, will generate a fireball with an energy equivalent to 100 million megatons of TNT.
2012   S. Carroll Particle at End of Universe iv. 68   The pride of Fermilab was the Tevatron, a massive machine that collided protons and antiprotons together at energies of 2,000 GeV.

1802—2012(Hide quotations)


 (c) With modifying word indicating the nature, form, or source of this capacity or property.actual energy, dark energy, electromagnetic energy, heat energy, kinetic energy, radiant energy, rest energy, etc.: see the first element. See also potential energy n., positive energy n. 1, negative energy n. 1, etc.

1852   W. Thomson in London, Edinb., & Dublin Philos. Mag. 4th Ser. 4 304 (title)    Dissipation of Mechanical Energy.
1893   Science 8 Sept. 137/1   A chemical transformation implies greater intensity of chemical energy in the reacting bodies than in the reaction products.
1922   T. M. Lowry Inorg. Chem. xxii. 255   Since a battery can only be run in the direction of its electromotive force, the electrical energy, E, set free in a chemical change must always be positive.
1962   F. D. Shields in D. Williams Molecular Physics viii. 689   Since the molecular energy is transferred by collision, a reduction in gas pressure retards the flow of energy.
2011   New Scientist 3 Sept. 47/2   Absolute zero, the temperature at which matter has no thermal energy.

1852—2011(Hide quotations)


b. Physics. A proposed name for: momentum. Obsolete. rare.

1808   Edinb. Rev. Apr. 130   The power of Percussion or of a body in motion, when we speak relatively to the effect produced by that power in a given time (which is proportional to the quantity of matter multiplied into the velocity)..might therefore be called Energy.

1808—1808(Hide quotations)


c. In form energia. The capacity of light to cause chemical change; = actinism n. 1. Obsolete.This term was coined by Robert Hunt (cf. quot. 1844), who soon abandoned it in favour of actinism.

1844   R. Hunt Res. Light iii. ii. 270   Energia, that power [of solar rays] which effects all the changes, whether chemical or molecular, which are constantly in progress.
1855   J. Scoffern in Orr's Circle Sci.: Elem. Chem. 93   That peculiar associate of light which has been termed by different chemists actinism, tithonism, and energia.
1873   Farmer's Mag. June 489/1   Shut out the heat [of the sunbeam] and we shut out the energia as well.

1844—1873(Hide quotations)


 d. Science Fiction. Energy (sense 6a(a)) portrayed as something which can be produced in a particular form, such as a projectile, beam, or wave, and transferred (typically with destructive effect) to a body upon contact.

1903   G. C. Griffith World Masters xxix. 286   All-destroying, flowed the terrible energy of the disintegrator on top of the tower.
1946   ‘R. Rocklynne’ in Astounding Sci. Fiction June 84/1   Gull adjusted the valves [of his flame pistol]..and it settled down to an inch-thick sword of flaming, violet-blue energy.
1968   S. E. Whitfield in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ ii. ii. 193   Phaser beams can be fired steadily, in one long burst, or in intermittent ‘squirts’ or ‘phased’ energy.
2017   Scottish Daily Mail (Nexis) 24 Oct. 50   At the press of a button, the machine generates a bright beam of energy, similar to a Star Wars lightsaber.

1903—2017(Hide quotations)


7. Power as manifested in a particular effect; force or strength as effectively exerted. Obsolete.

1804   Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 94 165   One might be led to imagine, that..the energy of the calorific rays..might be diminished by those other reflected rays by which they are accompanied.
1813   H. Davy Elements Agric. Chem. iv. 162   Soils..which act with the greatest chemical energy in preserving manures.
1831   M. Somerville Mechanism of Heavens Prelim. Diss. p. xiii   The disturbing energy of the planets.
1860   J. Tyndall Glaciers of Alps i. vii. 51   Others struggle with the slow energy of a behemoth through the débris which opposes them.

1804—1860(Hide quotations)


 8. In certain Eastern religions, New Age philosophy or culture, etc. A spiritual or ethereal force held to be present in all living things, and underlying various forms of alternative medicines and therapies.Also with modifying word specifying the particular type of energy involved.

1816   G. S. Faber Origin Pagan Idolatry III. iii. 57   She [sc. Satarupa]..is identified with the mysterious Yoni or female energy of nature.
1879   A. E. Newton Mod. Bethesda xiv. 197   Some unusual measure of this subtle energy or Life-Force (by whatever name it may be called) appears to be concentrated in or ministered through the organism of the gifted healer.
1921   C. Eliot Hinduism & Buddhism II. xxxii. 282   It is part of Sâdhana to arouse..energy and make it mount from the lower to the higher centres.
1977   R. B. Tisserand Art of Aromatherapy iii. 46   The Indians call it prana, we call it energy, but everybody is referring to the same thing, the same life force that is keeping every one of us alive.
1989   H. Johari Breath, Mind, & Consciousness i. 5   As long as the flow of energy in each nadi and nerve is working in proper rhythmic order in a particular area, life exists.
2006   Vancouver Sun (Nexis) 9 May d11   He firmly believes that harnessing pyramid energy is the key to making fine wine.
2013   Kindred Spirit Mar. 50/1   Chakras are energy connection points going up your spine.

1816—2013(Hide quotations)


 9. Power or force derived from the exploitation of physical and chemical resources in order to operate machines and devices, to provide light and heat, etc., and frequently regarded as a resource or commodity.Frequently with modifying word indicating the source of the energy, as solar, wind, etc., or its environmental impact, as clean, renewable, etc.alternative energy, green energy, nuclear energy, renewable energy, wave energy, wind energy, etc.: see the first element.

1864   N. Brit. Rev. May 364   The energy at present directly available to us for the production of mechanical work is almost entirely potential, and consists mainly of—1. Fuel; 2. Food of Animals; 3. Ordinary water-power; 4. Tidal water-power.
?1871   R. S. Ball in Cassell's Techn. Educ. I. 241/2   This energy is stored up..in what is called an accumulator, and..distributed by means of water-pressure to the different machines that require it.
1896   Electr. Jrnl. 1 Jan. 297/2   Electric energy is now peddled in New York just like milk.
1939   A. Huxley After Many a Summer i. x. 130   It's a gadget..for making use of solar energy.
1957   A. E. Stevenson New Amer. III. v. 165   The importance of atomic power as a major source of low-cost energy is well known.
1995   Washington Post 30 Jan. (Washington Business section) 5/1   During the energy crisis of the mid-1970s, the notion of harnessing cheap, clean energy from the sun captured the imagination of the world.
2006   Independent 29 Nov. (Property section) 9/3   Energy service companies..focus on meeting human needs rather than on just supplying energy.

1864—2006(Hide quotations)


 10. Philosophy and Psychology. A (hypothetical) metaphysical or psychic force underlying or driving all mental activity, often regarded as analogous to physical energy (sense 6a(a)).Also called mental or psychic energy, the latter often with reference to the work of Carl Jung.

1875   Theol. Medium Jan. 123   The energy (force) of the mind determines all its activities.
1917   Jrnl. Exper. Pedagogy 4 61   Jung's concept of psychic energy..is known as the libido theory. This energy is a hypothetical force which operates in the psyche. It is analogous to physical energy in the physical world.
1944   J. S. Huxley On Living in Revol. xv. 192   I shall use the term mental energy in the broad popular sense, as denoting the driving forces of the psyche, emotional as well as intellectual.
2006   M. Gundry Beyond Psyche iii. 44   This energy [sc. Jung's ‘psychic energy’] can either propel human development forward or falter, and cause regression to an archaic, primitive level of the psyche.

1875—2006(Hide quotations)


 11. A perceptible quality, state, or feeling present in a place or within a group at a given time, esp. one of excitement, antagonism, tension, suspense, etc.

1957   Times 25 Sept. 11/6   The atmosphere of refurbished Moscow was buzzing with energy and excitement.
1967   Coshocton (Ohio) Tribune 3 Dec. 3/5   You can almost feel the energy in the air.
1980   College Eng. 41 865   The collective energy in the room completely stifled those students who, I felt, did not want to kill all the whites.
1995   P. Conroy Beach Music (1996) ix. 117   The rooms [were] overheated with testosterone and the sheer energy of roughhousing.
2015   Teen Vogue Nov. 20/1   The city has a certain energy where you just feel the history and like something's always happening.

1957—2015(Hide quotations)




energy of growth   n.  [originally after German Wachsthumsenergie (1874 in the passage translated in quot. 1875; now Wachstumsenergie)] Botany Obsolete the potential for growth in a given segment of a stem or shoot; (also) the rapidity with which a given segment of a stem or shoot grows, and which is a factor in determining its eventual length.

1875   A. W. Bennett & W. T. T. Dyer tr. J. von Sachs Text-bk. Bot. iii. iv. 741   If the power of any particular zone to attain a definite length is called its Energy of Growth [Ger. Wachsthumsenergie], then a zone which..reaches a length of 10 mm. would have a smaller energy than one which continues to grow until it has reached a length of 100 mm.
1900   J. Percival Agric. Bot xx. 241   The vigour or energy of growth of a stem or other member varies during the grand period: at one stage of the development of the complete stem the growing part either grows more rapidly or continues its growth longer than at another stage.
1904   H. M. Ward Trees I. i. ix. 73   Since the length of the internode is an expression of the rapidity and energy of growth during the growing season, the two are correlated.

1875—1904(Hide quotations)


  energy of position   n. Physics energy which a body or substance possesses by virtue of its position relative to other bodies or within a field; cf. potential energy n.

1868   D. D. Heath in Contemp. Rev. 8 65   We may conceive the whole system as undergoing simultaneously two changes,..and attribute them to two energies—one of motion, or as it is coming to be called, kinetic energy,—the other which, for the moment, we will term energy of position.
1934   J. A. Thomson & E. J. Holmyard Biol. for Everyman II. 1033   We see the same thing when the kinetic energy of a rush of water is used by a hydraulic machine to raise a heavy weight to a height, where it has energy of position, or potential energy.
1966   R. S. Heinlein Moon is Harsh Mistress (1967) 80   But Luna also has energy of position; she sits at top of gravity well eleven kilometres per second deep and kept from falling in by curb only two and a half km/s high.
2012   Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) B. 367 60/2   An object held in a person's hand has potential energy—energy of position—which converts to kinetic energy—the energy of motion—if the actor lets it fall to the ground.

1868—2012(Hide quotations)



 C1. General attributive, objective, and instrumental (chiefly in senses 5, 6a, 9).

 a. Objective with participial adjectives, verbal nouns, and agent nouns, as energy booster, energy-boosting, energy-carrier, energy-carrying, energy-consuming, energy-draining, energy-giving, energy producer, energy-producing, energy-sapping, energy-saving.

1830   Parl. Deb. 2nd Ser. 25 65   The slow, tedious, wearing, energy-consuming, punishment of solitary confinement.
1839   Scioto (Ohio) Gaz. 11 Apr.   We have seen him maintain his stand—almost the very soul and energy-giving agent of our great trading people.
1850   T. D. Mitchell Materia Medica & Therapeutics 570   The stamina [will] cease to have an energy-imparting power.
1861   R. P. Ritchie in Lancet 9 Mar. 243/2   The determination to conduct themselves in the pure cause is wanting, and in this there is evidence of the pernicious energy-sapping cause [i.e. masturbation].
1876   Nature 7 Sept. 393/1   The chief form of energy in the organic kingdom is that resulting from the oxidation of carbon, chiefly characteristic of animals, while plants secrete the energy-producing material.
1879   Photogr. News 21 Feb. 89/2   Each part of this lovely variegated band is formed by energy carrying waves.
1882   Aberdeen Jrnl. 28 Dec. 2/2   Plum-pudding, it has been shown, is a splendid energy-producer.
1883   Photogr. News 9 Mar. 149/1   Let every one try to get in his head that every ray is an energy-carrier, and capable of doing some kind of work.
1889   W. S. Woodbridge Christ in Life 18   Hard work and energy-draining diversion are characteristic of the American people.
1893   Evening Times (Monroe, Wisconsin) 23 Oct.   An energy saving appliance was noticed in an open carriage..recently... It was an open-faced watch set in the floor of the carriage so that the occupant could see the time of day by merely glancing down.
1895   Hawarden (Iowa) Independent 7 Mar.   The Amish..continue to thresh their grain by tramping it out with their well fed horses rather than use the rapid, economical, energy conserving, but ungodly separator.
1905   Science 6 Jan. 8/2   No one can see far into the future, but we all easily see the dawn of a new era of energy saving.
1933   Chicago Daily Tribune 8 Sept. 20/2   Charts..of..familiar foods, each one marked to indicate its importance as a source of minerals and vitamins, or muscle building and energy boosting materials.
1938   N.Y. Herald Tribune 24 Apr. iv. 7/5   There are scrapers..with a solid steel handle, [and] others with a pistol grip which is very energy saving.
1940   Lima (Ohio) News 9 Oct. 13/6 (advt.)    Burkhardt's beer..is just what I need to top off a hard, hot day of welding. It's the best energy-booster I've ever found.
1940   Dairy World 19 40   Selling more milk for health protection and energy boosting will aid the national defense program.
1941   J. S. Huxley Uniqueness of Man iii. iv. 96   The fertilizing, energy-giving belt of cyclonic weather.
1952   N.Y. Times Bk. Rev. 11 May 8/2   It is time-consuming and energy-consuming to be an invalid.
1958   Lebanon (Pa.) Daily News 7 May 9/3   Campaigning is costly today. It is time-consuming. It is energy-sapping—and politically it is deadly.
1963   Physical Zool. 36 158/2   A..metabolism that requires less O₂ at a given temperature..would result in great energy savings for the winter.
1976   J. Updike in Boston Globe 11 Dec. 14/7   The older I got I'd say I'm more monogamous... Monogamy is very energy-conserving.
1978   Sulfur Oxides (U.S. National Res. Council: Assembly Life Sci.) i. 1   The tremendous cost of air-pollution control equipment for energy-producing plants.
1980   Los Angeles Times 23 May v. 13/1   1 million jobs were created in 1979 because businesses have found it economical to substitute labor for energy-draining machinery.
1990   Which? Apr. 222/2   Market forces can encourage energy saving..but they don't reflect the cost of environmental damage.
2014   Express (Nexis) 26 Mar. 35   Coenzyme Q10 is an important antioxidant and an energy-carrying enzyme that is found in every cell of the body.

1830—2014(Hide quotations)


 b. attributive, as energy boost, energy consumption, energy cost, energy expenditure, energy loss, energy production, energy resource, energy source, energy supply, energy transfer, energy unit, energy usage, energy use, energy value, etc.Attributive use specifically with reference to electricity and fuel is treated at Compounds 2.

1872   J. D. Everett Deschanel's Elem. Treat. Nat. Philos. III. lii. 756   The energy-value of a current, for each unit of time that it lasts, is the product of the current by the electromotive force producing it.
1882   Eng. Mechanic & World of Sci. 27 Oct. 183/2   1 M.G.S. energy-unit equals 10,000 G.C.S. energy-units.
1883   H. N. Martin Human Body: Elem. Text-bk. viii. 103   Hitherto we have only considered the energy-supply of the body from one side; we have regarded it as dependent on the constant supply of things which can be oxidized.
1885   Jrnl. Soc. Telegraph-engineers & Electricians 14 215   I mean those giving a purely physical E.M.F., produced we know not quite how, whose energy-source is not chemical but thermal.
1891   Jrnl. Soc. Arts 10 July 710/1   If I want to reduce the capital outlay on the [power] line, I must work at high voltage, and with a large energy loss.
1892   Electr. Engineer (U.S.) 27 Jan. 91/2   This phenomenon of hysteresis and..the energy consumption caused thereby.
1892   Lancet 6 Feb. 304/1   We may also observe in them [sc. bacteria] some of the highest forms of specialisation of function and energy production.
1899   ‘Y. Vedra’ Heliocentric Astrol. 97   There is generally much determination..to use..short-paths in matters of energy-use or muscular exertion.
1902   W. R. B. Gibson in H. Sturt Personal Idealism iii. 152   What guides the physicist in forming his energy-equations is not the idea of the constancy of energy within the universe, but that of the balance of energy about any given change as fulcrum.
1910   Trans. Amer. Inst. Electr. Engineers 1909 28 165   The part which electricity is destined to play in the conservation of our energy resources is demonstrated clearly by what it already has accomplished.
1915   Jrnl. Physiol. 49 378   From the oxygen consumption of the heart we can calculate its total energy usage.
1925   Times-Picayune (New Orleans) 30 Aug. iv. 3/1   ‘What will you have—energy tablets?’ ‘No today I think I will try a little concentrated repose.’
1937   Austin (Texas) Statesman 10 Aug. 5/5 (advt.)    Dr. Pepper has a bracing tang... A treat in taste pleasure..and a temporary energy boost as well.
1942   Science 8 May 486/2   The energy cost of moving the body is directly proportional to W1.0.
1954   D. J. Hughes Neutron Optics i. 2   The neutrons..reach thermal equilibrium with the moderating material, in which state energy gains are as frequent as energy loss.
1960   E. N. Willmer Cytol. & Evol. ix. 151   Many flagellates..depend for their energy supplies on the extraction of materials dissolved in the fluid in which they are swimming.
1966   R. A. MacGowan & F. I. Ordway III Intelligence in Universe 347   With energy resources we can but dimly perceive on the far distant technological horizon, only fractions of the velocity of light are likely to be achieved.
1969   Biol. Bull. 137 402   This is attributed to energy transfer from the luminescent system to a green fluorescent protein associated with the photogenic granules.
1975   Austin (Texas) Amer.-Statesman 25 June a13/3   The tests will involve such energy usages as illumination, air conditioning, and hot water.
1978   J. Updike Coup (1979) iii. 108   [She moved] more electrically, twitchily, like a modern woman connected to a variety of energy-sources.
1984   M. W. Stanier et al. Energy Balance & Temperature Regulation i. 9   The total energy intake of an animal from its food..may result in storage if not precisely balanced by energy output.
1993   J. A. Kay Found. Corporate Success iv. ix. 129   Concerned by the future of the oil market after the 1973 Arab–Israeli war, several oil companies redefined their business as energy supply, and diversified into coal.
2002   E. Keen Depression iv. 52   Giving up is often rewarded by a tremendous relief—relief from the struggle, the energy drain, and the frustration of failure.
2014   N.Y. Times 23 Oct. f8/2   When it comes to energy expenditure..the brain has a hard time distinguishing between momentous and banal choices.

1872—2014(Hide quotations)


 c. Instrumental, with the sense ‘with or by means of energy; as regards energy; with a view towards (conserving) energy’, as energy-driven, energy-filled, energy-intensive, energy-laden, energy-oriented, etc.

1893   19th Cent. Sept. 343   The heart had ceased to beat for want of the proper supply of energy-laden material.
1908   Med. Fortn. 25 Mar. 143/1   Energy-filled environs of St. Louis.
1914   Canton (Ohio) Daily News 27 Dec. 16/4   The American man..has an energy-driven curiosity.
1950   S. H. Schurr & J. Marschak Econ. Aspects Atomic Power xiii. 222   Here an energy-intensive process based on electricity would be substituted for a process using only small amounts of energy per ton.
1971   Bull. Atomic Scientists Oct. 20/2   Our contemporary technological society is energy based.
1988   J. Elkington & J. Hailes Green Consumer Guide (1989) 109   Over the past 25 years..we have made increasing use of the two most energy-intensive forms of travel. These are the private car and air travel.
1993   W. LaFeber in T. J. McCormick & W. LaFeber Behind Throne 3   An arresting presence: a commanding 6′4″ frame, rapid speech, pointed words, and an energy-charged style.
2006   A. Steffen et al. Worldchanging (2008) 154/1   With increasing urban density and rapidly depleting resources, massive, energy-intensive homes are not only becoming an unquestionably bad idea, but they are in many places simply not possible.
2016   Globe & Mail (Canada) (Nexis) 24 Oct. (Report on Business Mag.) b4   In 2006, it [sc. the bank] launched a funding initiative for energy-oriented housing refurbishments and low-energy homes.

1893—2016(Hide quotations)


 C2. attributive, with reference to the production and supply of electricity and gas and other fuels, or to government control and regulation of this, as energy customer, energy industry, energy policy, energy price, etc. Cf. sense 9.Compounds with a broader sense, as energy consumption, energy producer, energy use, etc., are treated at Compounds 1.

1907   Electr. Engin. 19 Apr. 540/1   The costs of lighting per kilo-candle hour will be divided into energy charges..[and] fixed charges.
1914   Jrnl. Inst. Electr. Engineers 52 131/2   The Berlin works..work more economically than those in Chicago... Nevertheless, the actual energy prices..are approximately the same.
1921   Mech. Engin. Jan. 27/1   The status of electric application..has exaggerated the lack of balance obtaining in the present state of development of the energy industry.
1957   Financial Times 26 Mar. 2/4   An energy tax..aimed at financing a considerable expansion of Sweden's power output..is to be introduced.
1975   Atlanta Daily World 2 Jan. 4/2   Unless there is vastly stepped up technical training.., few of the new energy workers will come from the black community.
1987   Jrnl. Appl. Probability 25 529   A coherent energy policy cannot be successful without taking into account the available resources.
1995   Canberra Times 7 Apr. 8/4   Energy supply businesses have traditionally..had established business relationships with energy customers.
2013   A. B. Badiru & S. O. Osisanya Project Managem. for Oil & Gas Industry ii. 27   The need to develop practical, efficient, and cost-effective energy infrastructure has never been more urgent.

1907—2013(Hide quotations)

 C3. attributive, with reference to the concept (especially in certain Eastern religions, New Age philosophy or culture, etc.) of a spiritual or ethereal force held to be present in all living things (see sense 8).

 a. Designating sites of such energy within the body, as energy centre , energy channel, etc.

1938   A. M. Uhler Cast out your Devils xvii. 203   Our strength fails, not because it is used up, but because our energy channels are clogged.
1959   Times Lit. Suppl. 18 Dec. 744/4   Jung has frequently written on these energy centres or, as he calls them, foundation stones of psychic energy.
1976   C. Popenoe Bks. for Inner Devel. 67/2   It [sc. the book] reorients the body in space as a completely interrelated network of energy lines and centers of force.
1999   N. Mehta Indian Head Massage (2000) 8   Within Ayurveda, as in other belief systems from around the world, the body is said to contain seven energy centres.
2015   Advertiser (Austral.) (Nexis) 15 Nov. (Escape section) 11   Something more serene is the spa with a range of treatments, especially the traditional Khmer massage that focuses on energy lines.

1938—2015(Hide quotations)


 b. Alternative Medicine With reference to the direction or manipulation of such energy for a patient's benefit, in any of various treatments or therapies, as energy healing, energy work, etc.

1978   New Braunfels (Texas) Herald 10 Aug. 4 d/4 (advt.)    Learn energy healing technique.
1981   New Mexican (Santa Fe) 24 June c2/3   Natural Healing classes... Massage, energy work, physical therapy, [etc.].
1986   Capital (Annapolis, Maryland) 24 Apr. 19/1   Reiki is an energy therapy that uses natural universal energy to balance and align the entire physical/emotional/spiritual dynamic.
1990   Yoga Jrnl. Nov. 106/1 (advt.)    Energy healer and problem solver.
1997   B. Rowlands Which? Guide Complementary Med. 125   Colour therapists..describe colour therapy as ‘energy medicine’.
2017   Daily Tel. (Austral.) (Nexis) 25 July 19   On this..menu of registered providers you will find energy healing and ‘soul counselling’.

1978—2017(Hide quotations)


  energy audit   n. an assessment of energy provision, consumption, and efficiency, esp. within a business or building; cf. environmental audit n. at environmental adj. Special uses.

1936   C. Croneis & W. C. Krumbein Down to Earth Contents p. xv   [Chapter] 4. Energy audit, in which we examine the Earth's sources of energy, and follow this energy through the economy of our terrestrial globe.
1963   Guardian 26 Nov. 11/2   The average annual saving brought about by a fuel efficiency survey, or ‘energy audit’, is between five and ten times the cost of the survey.
1983   Which? Sept. 417/3   To save you doing the sums yourself to work out what insulation will prove worthwhile, you could consider getting an energy audit.
2000   Salina (Kansas) Jrnl. 4 Nov. d2/1   They're lobbying for the Endangered Species Act, conducting energy audits and educating others about global climate change.

1936—2000(Hide quotations)


  energy band   n. Physics a set of energy levels, forming a range with no significant gaps, which electrons in a given solid can occupy.

[1930   P. M. Morse in Physical Rev. 35 1311   Bands of allowed energies which may or may not be separated from their neighbors by bands of forbidden energies.]
1931   A. H. Wilson in Proc. Royal Soc. A. 134 279   In this case the main function of the impurities is to provide electrons for the upper unoccupied energy bands of the crystal.
1984   D. C. Giancoli Gen. Physics xli. 813   The energy bands in semiconductors play an important role for transistors and diodes.
2012   P. Hertel Continuum Physics iv. 170   With increasing temperature, more and more electrons can jump from the lower almost filled energy band to the higher almost empty energy band.

1931—2012(Hide quotations)


  energy bar   n. orig. U.S. a block of high-calorie food, typically similar in size and shape to a chocolate bar, which is regarded or marketed as a convenient source of energy; esp. such a product that is manufactured commercially and sold individually wrapped.

1917   Mansfield (Ohio) News 25 Aug. 16/5 (advt.)    Reed's chocolate energy bar, appetizing, satisfying, a lunch in itself.
1964   N.Y. Times 16 July 37/4   Jim Bouton reached into his locker..and pulled forth a box containing four chocolate-covered energy bars.
1990   Newsday (Nexis) 23 June ii. 7   If you exercise for more than 90 minutes, a snack will enhance your endurance... The commercial energy bars get the job done.
2008   P. Galbreath Leading from Table ix. 121   They pooled the assets in their backpacks: six energy bars, two bags of granola, and several bottles of water.

1917—2008(Hide quotations)


  energy bill   n.  (a) a bill for payment for electricity, gas, etc., supplied;  (b) (chiefly with capital initials) a legislative bill concerned with the supply or use of energy, fuel, etc.

1911   Southern Electrician Apr. 143/1   The incentive to conversion [to low-voltage metallic filament lamps] being actually a substantial reduction in the energy bill.
1954   Taylor (Texas) Daily Press 23 July 1/8   Democratic Senator James Eastland..veered from the Energy Bill and discussed such matters as cotton.
1978   Guardian Weekly 23 Apr. 16/1   Does it all mean that Congress ought not pass the languishing energy bill?
1999   Times 20 Apr. 42/2 (advt.)    These projects include policy development for the new Energy Bill currently in preparation.
2014   A. Foster God is Astronaut 17   Even with the best insulating you can find, I can't imagine what it will do to our energy bills.

1911—2014(Hide quotations)


  energy budget   n.  (a) the amount of energy available for use in a given context; a plan for how this energy is to be allocated;  (b) Biology an estimate of the amounts of energy obtained and expended by an organism or ecosystem.

1913   Woman Citizen's Libr. IX. 2391   Energy-Budgets for Homes... It is just as necessary to have budgets of energy and time for household work as to have budgets for money spending.
1926   Ohio Jrnl. Sci. 26 5   The work of the animal physiologists, and the studies of non-green plants have shown that an energy budget can be calculated from the heat equivalents of food substances consumed.
1996   Gazette (Montreal) (Nexis) 13 Mar. f5   To be able to run from a battery, manufacturers have had to get power consumption of all the components to fit into a finite energy budget.
1997   G. S. Helfman et al. Diversity of Fishes v. 66/2   Energy budgets can aid in understanding the energy intake and utilization of an individual.
2017   New Scientist 22 Apr. 36/3   Most of us are spending 20 per cent of our basic energy budget taking care of muscle mass.

1913—2017(Hide quotations)


  energy change   n. a change in the amount or type of energy possessed by a body or system before and after a chemical reaction, change of state, or other physical process.

1878   A. S. Herschel in Nature 14 Feb. 303/1   The sum of the energy changes between the two given points is independent of the course or lapse of time in which the final point is reached.
1964   L. H. Van Vlack Elements Materials Sci. (ed. 2) x. 281   The energy change which is of importance in a chemical reaction is the decrease in free energy of the reaction.
2014   Proc. National Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 111 15070/1   This energy change represents only a small contribution to the overall catalytic effect.

1878—2014(Hide quotations)


  energy company   n. a commercial company that produces electricity, gas, or a similar fuel.

1910   Electr. World 20 Oct. 940/2   Persons in the communities served are now paying more for the service of the energy companies.
1967   Globe & Mail (Toronto) 26 July b3/2   An Imperial Oil spokesman said: ‘We are interested in uranium because we are an energy company and uranium is part of the energy picture.’
2011   P. Vaze & S. Tindale Repowering Communities vii. 139   Many energy companies also offer reductions to those paying by direct debit, or to those buying gas and electricity as a bundle.

1910—2011(Hide quotations)


  energy conservation   n.  (a) Physics = conservation of energy at conservation n. 3;  (b) the practice of conserving energy by eliminating wasteful use, using energy more efficiently, and reducing total use.

1878   Nature 21 Feb. 321/2   The principle of energy conservation here laid down by Newton.
1910   Motor Nov. 79/3   In the body forms with which she invests her living organisms, nature displays a skill in energy conservation which is beyond compare.
1955   W. Heisenberg in W. Pauli Niels Bohr & Devel. Physics 13   Bothe and Geiger showed experimentally by means of the Compton effect that the energy conservation law is valid for individual processes also.
1984   E. P. DeGarmo et al. Materials & Processes in Manuf. (ed. 6) iv. 87   Recent advances in blast furnace technology tend to center on..energy conservation.
2004   B. Greene Fabric of Cosmos xii. 343   An anomaly is a pernicious quantum effect that spells doom for a theory by implying that it violates certain sacred principles, such as energy conservation.
2017   Charleston (W. Va.) Gaz.-Mail (Nexis) 10 Oct. 1 a   In the absence of stricter federal regulations curbing greenhouse gas emissions, many states have issued their own mandates promoting energy conservation.

1878—2017(Hide quotations)


  energy crisis   n. a severe shortage of one or more energy-producing resources, esp. petroleum; (also) a period characterized by such a shortage, in which the price of energy is high and power outages may occur.

1953   Progress-Index (Petersburg, Va.) 27 Aug. 11/1   While the energy crisis draws nearer, mankind is letting trillions of kilowatt-hours go to waste.
1971   Washington Post 10 Jan. f8/1   Although some progress has been made in dealing with the U.S. ‘energy crisis’, the likelihood of..blackouts in the coming year is not being ruled out.
2014   Toronto Star 24 Aug. in1   Those were the dark days of a global energy crisis.

1953—2014(Hide quotations)


  energy crop   n.  (a) a crop grown for use as food, regarded as a source of food energy; (now rare);  (b) a crop grown for use in the generation of energy by combustion, or for the production of fuels such as bioethanol.

1918   Creamery & Milk Plant Monthly Mar. 40/1   Ninety per cent of all the energy crop that is captured from the sun is in the form of rough stuff; only 10 per cent is fine enough in the form of grains of various kinds for the food of man.
1949   Science 22 July 81/2   The resources of the tropics are simply not such as to make the regions capable of assuming a major position in the production of the energy crops.
1975   Science 15 Aug. 539/3   In addition to the low efficiency of photosynthetic conversion, if energy crops were produced on a large scale they could compete with food and fiber crops for arable land and water.
1995   Farmers Weekly 21 July 7/4   Bavaria has agreed to subsidise 30% of the buying price for a locally designed energy crop harvester which cuts, chops, pellets and dries various crops for fuel.
2016   News Chron. (Nigeria) (Nexis) 6 Oct.   It would plant an energy crop known as Jatropha and convert the extracted oil from its seeds to biodiesel.

1918—2016(Hide quotations)


  energy crunch   n. a severe shortage of one or more energy-producing resources; = energy crisis n.

1970   Pecos (Texas) Enterprise 19 Oct.   ‘We are in a tight energy crunch’, said Murray.
1978   N.Y. Times Mag. 4 June 110 (heading)    The real meaning of the energy crunch.
2001   High Country News 18 June 9/2   California's energy crunch drove wholesale prices up to $800 a megawatt-hour.

1970—2001(Hide quotations)


  energy-dense adj.  (a) (of food) that contains a relatively large quantity of energy per unit mass; high-calorie;  (b) (of fuels and batteries) that store a relatively large amount of energy per unit mass or volume.

1962   Poultry Sci. 41 1061/1   The cause of reduced egg production in hens fed high levels of fat is associated with over-consumption of the energy-dense fat diet and resultant weight gains and obesity.
1972   2 Ocean '72: IEEE Internat. Conf. Engin. in Ocean Environment 578/2   The balancing of even these more energy-dense silver-zinc systems requires buoyancy from other pressure-proof subsystems or from flotation material.
1993   Sci. News 10 Apr. 237/2   Children are born liking sweets..but they quickly learn to also enjoy ‘energy-dense’ foods—generally, those high in fat.
2016   New Scientist 8 Oct. 28/2   Hydrogen..is energy-dense—you could drive the 600-odd kilometres from London to Edinburgh..on a single tank.

1962—2016(Hide quotations)


  energy density   n. Physics and Engineering  (a) the quantity of energy per unit volume stored in a given material or object, or present in a given space (also called volume (or volumetric) energy density);  (b) the quantity of energy per unit mass (or weight) stored in a given material or object (also called gravimetric energy density or specific energy; cf. specific adj. and n. Special uses).Frequently used to express the efficiency (by volume or weight) of a fuel as a source of energy, or of a battery, flywheel, etc., as a device for storing energy. When relativistic effects are taken into account, energy density includes energy in the form of matter.

1896   Physical Rev. 3 472   Maxwell does not say anything about the energy density according to Ampere's theory of elementary current magnets.
1933   A. W. Barton Text Bk. Heat xv. 352   The number of ergs of radiation in 1 c.c. of [enclosure] A..is called the energy density of the radiation in the enclosure.
1973   Amer. Sci. Jan. 70/2   Recently, advances in energy storage in flywheels have been reported by Weatherbee and Rabenhorst, who anticipate storage of 30 W hrs/lb, an energy density that would make them competitive with present day storage batteries.
1992   Energy Conservation Devel. 50 in U.S. Congress. Serial Set (102nd Congr., 2nd Sess.: Senate Hearing 637)   The energy density of gasoline is more than 350 times that of a lead acid battery system per kilogram of weight.
2011   B. E. Cox & J. R. Forshaw Quantum Universe xi. 22   Such a large and negative energy density in every square metre of empty space should..generate a devastating expansion of the Universe.

1896—2011(Hide quotations)


  energy-dispersive adj. designating an instrument which is able to detect and measure the energy spectrum of X-rays emitted by a sample; (also) designating techniques in which the detection and measurement of an X-ray energy spectrum is used to analyse the composition of a sample.Such techniques rely upon the characteristic relationship between the composition of a material and the energy spectrum of the X-rays it emits when stimulated by a given source of excitation, such as when bombarded by high-energy electrons in a scanning electron microscope.Cf. quot. 1968, in which energy-dispersion is used attributively in the same sense.

[1968   Science 2 Feb. 528 (title)    Solid-state energy-dispersion spectrometer for electron-microprobe X-ray analysis.]
1970   Science 7 Aug. 519 (advt.)    As you read this ad, 37 per cent of all U3 owners have added our energy dispersive x-ray analysers.
1990   D. Ackerman Nat. Hist. Senses iv. 204   Using EDAX (energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy), they showered a fragment of a cello with high-energy electrons, which allowed them to analyze the wood's ingredients.
2001   R. W. Cahn Coming of Materials Sci. vi. 228   An ‘energy-dispersive’ analyser..uses a scintillation detector with an electronic circuit to determine the quantum energy of the signal.
2006   New Yorker 13 Mar. 89/1   In 2003, researchers re-tested surviving metal samples with energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry.

1970—2006(Hide quotations)


  energy drink   n. orig. U.S. any of various types of drink which are regarded or marketed as a source of energy; (now) esp. a soft drink containing a high percentage of sugar, or caffeine or another stimulant, typically consumed when participating in sports or as a means of overcoming tiredness; cf. sports drink n. at sport n.1 Compounds 4b.

1904   Dubuque (Iowa) Tel.-Herald 3 Mar. 6/6 (advt.)    Vimalt. The great health tonic... An energy drink.
1928   Chron.-Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) 17 Feb. 4 (advt.)    Milk is the energy drink for youngsters.
1985   N.Y. Times 2 June f12/3   ‘Energy’ drinks such as Quaker Oats's Gatorade and Coca-Cola's MAX.
2014   K. E. McConnell et al. Health for Life ix. 161   Despite their name, energy drinks provide little usable energy for the body.

1904—2014(Hide quotations)


  energy efficiency   n.  (a) Science and Engineering the efficiency with which a machine, device, or process utilizes the energy it takes in; spec. the ratio of the quantity of useful work performed or energy produced relative to the quantity of energy taken in or expended;  (b) the economical use of energy, esp. electricity or fuel.

1888   Jrnl. Soc. Telegraph-engineers & Electricians 17 423   As far as I know, the actual energy efficiency has not been shown to be higher than about 60 per cent.
1922   Standards Amer. Inst. Electr. Engineers (rev. ed.) x. 108   The energy efficiency..represents the ratio of the energy delivered by the battery to the energy expended in charging it.
1972   H. Perry Conservation of Energy 2   The principal theme of this report is that energy conservation and energy efficiency are important issues.
1986   Options Aug. 33/1   Energy efficiency is not..a subject on which the British can talk with much authority.
2011   S. Coyle Sustainable & Resilient Communities iii. 78   Architects and..engineers collaborate to maximize energy efficiency in heating and cooling.

1888—2011(Hide quotations)


  energy-efficient adj. orig. U.S. that makes economical use of energy, esp. electricity or fuel; that facilitates or is conducive to an economical use of energy.

1970   Science 2 Oct. 17/1   We need better utilization of all energy resources—for example, a transit system more energy-efficient than the present individual automobile.
1984   Today in Gainesville (Florida) Mar. 3 a   These homes are equipped with..energy-efficient insulation.
2016   Guardian (Nexis) 31 July (Environment section)   Shaw..has a top-rated energy-efficient fridge and has triple glazing on his windows.

1970—2016(Hide quotations)


  energy exchange   n. Science the transfer or exchange of energy from one body or system to another; (as a count noun) an instance of this.Cf. quot. 1878, in which an earlier compound of heat-energy denotes an exchange of energy in the form of heat.

[1878   A. S. Herschel in Nature 9 May 40/1   The..heat-tension of the gas by which its heat-energy exchanges are secured.]
1884   A. S. Herschel in Engineer 26 Dec. 479/1   Whether..the energy exchanges that occur are perfect and reversible, or take place with friction.
1934   H. E. White Introd. Atomic Spectra vi. 92   If in collision the energy exchange between..an electron and atom is all energy of translation.
2013   Publ. Astron. Soc. Pacific 125 1350/2   These systems interact, allowing energy exchange between the two, which reduces the statistical fluctuation.

1884—2013(Hide quotations)


  energy field   n.  [compare German Energiefeld (1906 or earlier)]  (a) Physics a field (field n.1 15a) regarded as a source of energy for bodies interacting with it (now rare);  (b) a supposed aura or emanation of ethereal or spiritual forces (cf. sense 9, field n.1 15b).

1895   Proc. Physical Soc. 13 402   It has not been found possible to map the energy field in this manner for three or more particles.
1920   Monist 30 411   The first deduction should be that when two bodies come into the same energy-field, that is, when they attract each other, kinetic energy aroused in each is equal.
1941   R. A. Heinlein in Astounding Sci. Fiction Jan. 15/2   You see, there are three types of energy fields known to exist in space; electric, magnetic, and gravitic or gravitational.
1971   B. Sidran Black Talk v. 148   The music created an ‘energy field’ that made the drummer feel he was hovering ‘six inches off the floor’.
1996   Time Out 27 Mar. 86/2   They were built in accordance with the laws of feng shui, which keeps the structures in harmony with the earth's energy fields.
2015   Nature 15 Oct. 295/1   I don't buy into the pseudoscientific claims of reiki and spiritual healers. There is no evidence that they can tap into and manipulate human ‘energy fields’ to clear blockages and heal the body.

1895—2015(Hide quotations)


  energy firm   n. = energy company n.

1970   Washington Post 28 Dec. a2/4   Universities often control a bigger percentage of the votes cast at the annual meetings of some energy firms than..2.73%.
1993   Oil & Gas Jrnl. 1 Mar. 4   Russian energy firms are..starting commercial production of natural gas in eastern Siberia's Irkutsk province.
2014   M. L. Robinson Marketing Big Oil 100   Moving beyond petroleum was essential for an energy firm like BP as it competes in the twenty-first century.

1970—2014(Hide quotations)


  energy gel   n. (a packet or portion of) high-carbohydrate gel designed to boost energy levels when consumed during sporting activity or other strenuous exercise.Energy gels typically contain high levels of sugars and maltodextrins (and sometimes also electrolytes, caffeine, etc.) and are usually sold in individually packaged servings.

1995   Bicycling May 96/2   Energy gels..come closer to meeting the promise of a high-octane athletic fuel, particularly during extended efforts.
2005   Globe & Mail 28 Sept. a23/5   Consume 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour of running, using a combination of sports drinks, energy gels.., energy bars, fruit, or gummi candy.
2014   Cycle Sport Oct. 57/1   An energy gel had burst in Dumoulin's pocket, leaving a pinkish stain on his jersey and shorts.

1995—2014(Hide quotations)


  energy gun   n. orig. and chiefly Science Fiction a device which emits a (destructive) beam or pulse of energy or high-energy particles.

1917   Motion Picture Mag. Apr. 99/2   In ‘The Intrigue’, a Pallas picture.., soldiers meet their death as a result of a terrific electrical discharge from a huge energy gun, a purely imaginary contrivance.
1931   Tel.-Herald & Times-Jrnl. (Dubuque, Iowa) 7 Aug. 13/5   Scientists build new energy gun... Its projectiles are a stream, or beam, of protons..to shoot at heavy atoms to break them down.
1952   K. F. Crossen in Thrilling Wonder Stories Dec. 36/2   One of the Caphian ships appeared and settled to the ground just out of the range of an energy gun.

1917—1952(Hide quotations)


  energy market   n. the commercial market for energy supply.

1920   Electr. World 20 Mar. 659/1   Subtracting from these computed state totals for 1930 the estimated state totals of 1920 gives the increase in generator rating..required between 1920 and 1930 to supply the increased energy market.
1974   Brookings Papers Econ. Activity 422   Stability in today's energy markets may be a humbler goal than the efficient allocation of energy resources over the long run.
2012   House of Commons Energy & Climate Change Comm.: Consumer Engagem. with Energy Markets: 5th Rep. II. 120 in Parl. Papers 2012–13 (H.C. 554–II)   Domestic consumers..do not feel strongly about the energy market, and despite being aware of their right to switch.., they do not do so.

1920—2012(Hide quotations)


  energy minister   n. a government minister responsible for the oversight of energy supply.

1959   Globe & Mail (Toronto) 1 July 5/4   Elliot Lake..Chamber of Commerce petitioned the Energy Minister..to locate the proposed..power station near the Uranium town.
1980   South China Morning Post 10 Oct. 1/5   Energy ministers from major Western nations..have been working together..to avert chaos in the oil market.
2006   T. James & P. C. Fusaro Energy & Emissions Markets vi. 123   The Russia-Ukraine gas-supply dispute in the winter of 2005 shocked EU energy ministers into action.

1959—2006(Hide quotations)


  energy provider   n. something which or someone who provides energy; spec.  (a) a substance (such as a food or fuel) which serves as a source of energy;  (b) a state, organization, etc., which produces and distributes electricity or fuel; esp. a company supplying electricity or gas to customers.

1887   Nature 17 Feb. 368/1   The bacterium lactis finds itself in a situation in which the free oxygen of the atmosphere has..become less available as an energy-provider.
1936   Q. Jrnl. Econ. 51 114   The use of bituminous coal as an energy provider.
1963   Sunday Gaz.-Mail (Charleston, W. Va.) 16 June (advertising insert in Energy section)   The state of West Virginia is ideally located to serve as energy provider for the vast metropolitan areas on the East Coast.
1976   Financial Times 24 Dec. 18/1   The British National Oil Corporation should be a member of the commission..as a representative of State-owned energy providers.
2003   R. W. Chadd et al. Low Calorie Cookbk. 234/3   Bananas are great energy providers.
2016   A. Olive Canad. Environment in Polit. Context viii. 196   Switch to green power if possible, and encourage your energy provider to obtain more energy from renewable resources.

1887—2016(Hide quotations)


  energy regulator   n. a person or thing which regulates or controls energy (in various contexts); spec.  (a) a substance or organ regarded as regulating the release or consumption of energy within the body;  (b) a device which controls the flow or use of (electrical) energy in a machine or mechanism;  (c) an official or agency responsible for the control and supervision of the energy industry or market.

1897   New Eng. Med. Gaz. July 303   Many medicines must be looked upon as energy regulators only, while foods are energy producers.
1906   Trans. Inst. Mining Engineers 29 584   The circuit furnishes an electric current, of an intensity which is kept sensible constant by means of an automatic energy-regulator.
1944   Winnipeg Free Press 18 July 16/7   We know that the thyroid is the energy regulator of the body.
1973   Xenia (Ohio) Daily Gaz. 3 Dec. 1/1   New energy regulator: rationing possible... Simons..challenges suggestions that his impending appointment as the new federal energy czar lessen the chance of gasoline rationing.
1994   H. Fraser Electric Kiln iii. 30/1   The kiln can be fitted with separate energy regulators controlling the elements in the top and bottom.
1999   Jrnl. Animal Sci. 77 2230/2   Uncoupling protein 3..has been suggested to be an important energy regulator.
2010   Economist 11 Dec. 31/1   Ofgem, the energy regulator, announced an inquiry into competition in the energy sector after profits in the industry jumped by around 40%.

1897—2010(Hide quotations)


  energy-rich adj. that contains or yields a (relatively) large amount of energy.

1924   A. P. Mathews in E. V. Cowdry Gen. Cytol. ii. 26   There is an inactive and an active form; an energy-poor and an energy-rich form [of every substance].
1952   New Biol. 13 125   The limited stock of abiotically formed energy-rich molecules.
1993   Psychol. Today Jan. 33/1   Take a late-afternoon coffee—or tea—break and you're virtually programmed to dive for energy-rich pastry.
2013   A. Rutherford Creation: Future of Life i. 24 in Creation: Origin of Life   It is a process of carbon fixation, effectively turning carbon dioxide into organic, energy-rich products.

1924—2013(Hide quotations)


  energy secretary   n. = energy minister n.

1974   Financial Times 10 Jan. 5/3   In a discussion of the world energy crisis..Britain is likely to be represented by Lord Carrington, the new Energy Secretary.
1993   Associated Press (Nexis) 27 Jan.   The energy secretary had just enough time to announce that the nation's [sc. Philippines] electricity crisis was almost over when the television station lost power.
2011   P. Vaze & S. Tindale Repowering Communities iv. 43   The need to control climate change..is an open objective for most US Democrat politicians, including President Obama and Energy Secretary Chu.

1974—2011(Hide quotations)


  energy security   n.  (a) Finance (in plural) stocks, bonds, etc., issued by energy companies;  (b) the safety of energy supplies, power networks, fossil fuel reserves, etc.; the safeguarding of these, esp. by a government; frequently attributive.

1960   Burlington (Iowa) Hawk-eye 10 Aug. 17/3   The Energy Fund [was] founded in 1955 by Ralph Samuel..to concentrate in energy securities.
1971   N.Y. Times 25 Sept. 46/5   Mr. Lincoln said that conservation and environmental policy would make the difference ‘between success or jeopardy of our energy security as of circa 1980–1985’.
1985   PR Newswire (Nexis) 22 Feb.   During this period of depressed stock prices for energy securities.
1991   Sci. Amer. (U.K. ed.) Sept. 8/1   He seems surprisingly out of touch with recent economic thinking and U.S. environmental and energy security policy.
2008   Financial Times 18 Feb. (FTfm section) 12/6   The fund will invest in energy securities worldwide.
2015   P. Ekins in P. Ekins et al. Global Energy iii. xxvi. 541   There is not a straightforward relationship between the energy security of a given country and its dependency on imported energy.

1960—2015(Hide quotations)


  energy shell   n. Physics each of a number of discrete sets of orbitals (visualized as concentric shells surrounding the nucleus of an atom) capable of being occupied by electrons having certain energy values; a corresponding structure within a nucleus, occupied by nucleons; = shell n. 19b.

1925   London, Edinb., & Dublin Philos. Mag. 6th Ser. 49 513   The optical spectral lines belong to transitions from a free outer orbit to a vacant place in the outmost energy shell.
1997   Sci. Amer. Dec. 51/3   The same mechanism works for filled proton and neutron energy shells in atomic nuclei and explains their magic numbers.
2008   J. McDowell Metals i. 4   Electrons move rapidly around the nucleus in regions known as energy shells.

1925—2008(Hide quotations)


  energy spectrum   n. the range of energy values possessed by a collection of particles, vibrations, etc.; the distribution of the energies of particles, vibrations, etc., over a range of values.

1884   S. P. Langley Researches Solar Heat xi. 134   Unless we could form an energy spectrum from heat of some such degree as this, and determine the maximum ordinate of its curve, we should..be unable to determine the approximate wave-length of the heat in question.
1936   N. Feather Introd. Nucl. Physics x. 153   The emission of radiation (having a discrete energy spectrum).
1970   Look 6 Oct. 90/2   Four primary brain-wave patterns have been identified using this technique—delta, theta, alpha and beta, all contained within a total energy spectrum of about 0 to 40 cycles per second.
2004   New Scientist 7 Aug. 28/3   Such a detector could also test the georeactor theory by looking at the energy spectrum of antineutrinos from the core.

1884—2004(Hide quotations)


  Energy Star   n. (also with lower-case initials) orig. and chiefly U.S. (a proprietary name for) a programme which provides certification to buildings and consumer products which meet certain standards of energy efficiency; (also) the certification mark itself.Often (and in earliest use) attributive.

1992   Orange County (Calif.) Reg. 19 June d11/1   The plan includes an EPA ‘energy star’ logo that can be used to market PCs that meet a new, lower standard for consuming electricity.
2007   C. E. Schumer Positively Amer. 188   The Energy Star program..allows consumer products that meet certain efficiency standards to earn an Energy Star.
2016   National Post (Nexis) 16 Jan. (Post Homes section) 2 (advt.)    Nine-foot ceilings, Energy Star appliances and ceramic tile backsplashes.

1992—2016(Hide quotations)


  energy state   n. Physics the physical condition or state of a body or system, characterized by the quantity of energy it possesses; spec. any of the discrete states, each characterized by a discrete quantity of energy, which a particle, atom, molecule, or other system can occupy according to quantum mechanics (cf. energy level n. 2).

1916   Science 21 Apr. 568/2   A standard energy state is assumed and the change in the energy of the system may be measured by the work done on or by the system.
1955   W. Heisenberg in W. Pauli Niels Bohr & Devel. Physics 14   Schrödinger had recognized that the wave functions were the elements of the transformation matrices for the transition from energy states to position states.
2006   J. M. Hornback Org. Chem. (Internat. Student ed.) xiii. 502   Not only are the energies of the electron orbitals quantized, but all of the energy states of a molecule are quantized.

1916—2006(Hide quotations)


  energy supplier   n. something which or someone who supplies energy; spec.  (a) a substance (such as a food or fuel) which serves as a source of energy;  (b) a country, organization, etc., which produces or distributes electricity or fuel, esp. a company supplying electricity or gas to customers.

1904   South Metrop. Gas Company Co-partnership Jrnl. Nov. 188   There may be..some scope for Radium as an energy-supplier; for..an ounce [of radium bromide]..would drive a 50-h.-p. motor-car round the world at 30 miles an hour.
1910   Times 22 June 17/2   ‘Energy + Cost of Maintenance by a Corporation Lighting Department’ was, or might be, considerably more expensive than ‘Energy + Maintenance by the Energy Supplier.’
1968   Universitas 11 258   Protein, fat and carbohydrates as energy suppliers are to a certain degree exchangeable.
1991   Canberra Times 18 July 23/3   Australia may not be Japan's largest energy supplier for much longer.
2006   C. Delp Kickboxing ix. 226   Fruits, muesli bars, and also chocolate, are quick and effective energy suppliers.
2014   New Scientist 21 June 34/3   The UK government..has introduced obligations for energy suppliers to source a certain amount of their energy from renewable sources.

1904—2014(Hide quotations)


  energy weapon   n. orig. and chiefly Science Fiction a weapon which emits a beam or pulse of destructive energy or high-energy particles.

1941   A. E. van Vogt in Astounding Sci.-Fiction July 60/1   The..display was made up of an assortment of rather curiously shaped guns..; and a glowing sign in the window stated: The finest energy weapons in the known universe.
1961   A. E. Nourse Tiger by Tail 163   The pogrom, it seemed, had been accomplished by an energy weapon which ate great, gaping holes in the sides of buildings.
1977   Observer 15 May 5/2   Recent events..have persuaded Air Force analysts that an energy weapon is nearing the test stage..at an unusual research facility..south of the city of Semipalatinsk.
2014   G. Mann Engines of War viii. 101   The Dalek fired its energy weapon and the Doctor dived to the floor.., the energy beam..scorching a long, black line into the wall.

1941—2014(Hide quotations)