Scientists Say: Your weekly word

What’s that word? Find new science words every week with Scientists Say.

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Scientists Say (noun, “SIGH-en-tists Sae”)

Every week in our series Scientists Say, Science News Explores highlights a new science word, from absolute zero to zooxanthellae. Each word has a definition and is used in a sentence to help you understand the meaning. There’s even an audio recording, so you can hear exactly how to pronounce the term. All the words covered so far are listed below. Got a word you want to know about? Send an email to sns@sciencenews.org and put in a request!

A

Absolute zero

Acceleration

Acid

Acidification

Acoustic

Adaptation

Aerosol

Albedo

Algebra

Alkaline

Allele

Amino acid

Amoeba

Ampere

Amphibian

Amusia

Amygdala

Anthropocene

Archaea

Archaeology

Asteroid

Atmosphere

Atoll

Atom

Atomic number

ATP

Aufeis

Autophagy

Autopsy

Avalanche

B

Bacteria

Base

Big Bang

Biofilm

Biomagnify

Black hole

Blood-brain barrier

Body mass index

Bog

Bond

Brainwaves

Bromeliad

Bruxism

C

Capsaicin

Carbohydrate

Carcinogen

Catalyst

Cellulose

Chemical

Chlorophyll

Chromosome

Circadian

Climate

Colloid

Comet

Constellation

Continent

Convection

Copepod

Coprolite

Cortical homunculus

Crepuscular

Crystal

CT scan

Cyanide

Cyclone

D

Dark Energy

Dark matter

Data

Decay

Decibel

Deforestation

Denisovan

Desert

Diffraction

Dinosaur

Dioxide

Dire wolf

Diurnal

DNA sequencing

Domestication

Doppler Effect

Dung

Dwarf planet

E

Earthquake

Echolocation

Eclipse

Ectoparasite

eDNA

Egg

Electron

El Niño

Endocytosis

Engineering

Enzyme

Epidemic

Epidermis

Equation

Estuary

Eukaryote

Eutrophication

Evolution

Excretion

Exocytosis

Exomoon

Exoplanet

Experiment

Extinction

Extremophile

Eyewall

F

Faraday cage

Fatty acid

Fault

Fermentation

Ferrofluid

Firenado

Firewhirl

Forensics

Fossil

Fracking

Frequency

Frostbite

Fulgurite

G

Galaxy

Gas giant

Genealogy

Genus

Geometry

Geyser

Glacier

Glia

Global Positioning System

Goldilocks zone

GPS

Gradient

Graphene

Gravitational lens

Gravity

Guinea worm

Guttation

Gyroscope

H

Habitable zone

Hagfish

Haptic

Herbivore

Hertz

Hibernaculum

Hibernation

Hippocampus

Histology

Hominid

Hoodoo

Hormone

Hurricane

Hyperthermia

Hypothermia

Hypothesis

I

Inclusion

Inertia

Inflammation

Infrared

Inorganic

Insulin

Intron

Invasive species

Ion

Ionosphere

Irruption

Isotope

J

Jellies

Jet stream

Joule

Jurassic

K

Kakapo

Kelp

Kelvin

Keratin

Kevlar

Kinetic energy

Krill

L

Lachryphagy

Lactose

La Niña

Larva

Laser

Latitude

Lava

Light pollution

Light-year

Loci

Locus

Longitude

Luminescence

Lymph

M

Machine Learning

Mass

Magma

Marsupial

Medullary bone

Melatonin

Metabolism

Metal

Meteor

Meteorite

Meteorology

Microbiome

Microgravity

Microplastic

Migration

Mineral

Mitochondrion

Mitosis

Molecule

Momentum

MRI

Multiverse

Mummy

Mutation

Myopia

N

Naloxone

Narcotic

Neandertal

Nebula

Necropsy

Nectar

Nematocyst

Nematode

Neuron

Neurotransmitters

Neutron star

Neutrophil

Niche

Nicotine

Nocturnal

Nucleus

Nutrient

O

Obesogens

Octopod

Okapi

Olfactory

Oort cloud

Opioid

Optogenetics

Orbit

Organic

Organelle

Osmosis

Outbreak

Outlier

Oxidation

Ozone

P

Paleontology

Pandemic

Papillae

Parasite

Pareidolia

Parthenogenesis

Phloem

Pi

Piezoelectric

Peptide

Periodic table

Permafrost

Petrichor

pH

Photochromic

Photon

Photovoltaic

Pigment

Placebo

Planet

Plankter

Plasma

Plastic

Plastisphere

Poisonous

Pollen

Pollution

Polymer

Potential energy

Power

Prairie

Precipitation

Primate

Protein

Proton

Proxima b

Proxima centauri

Q

Quantum

Quarantine

Quark

Quartile

Quasar

Quoll

R

Rabies

Radar

Radioactive

Radiation

Receptor

Red dwarf

Reduction

Refraction

Relapse

Remission

Replication

Respiration

Richter Scale

Rime ice

Ring of fire

RNA

Runoff

S

Salt

Satellite

Saturated fat

Savanna

Silicon

Silicone

Social

Solar

Solar wind

Solution

Space weather

Spaghettification

Species

Speleology

Sperm

Stalactite

Stalagmite

Statistical significance

Stereoscopy

Stereotype

Stomata

Strain

Stratigraphy

Sublimation

Supercomputer

Supernova

Surface tension

Symbiosis

Synapse

T

Taphonomy

Theory

Tinnitus

Tonsils

Torpor

Torque

Toxin

Transit

Trauma

Triclosan

Tsunami

Tundra

Typhoon

U

Ultrasound

Umami

Uncertainty

Understory

Unsaturated fat

Upwelling

Urushiol

V

Vacuole

Vaccine

Vampire

Variable

Vector

Venomous

Ventral striatum

Vestigial

Virtual reality

Virulence

Viscosity

Voltage

W

Waterspout

Watt

Wavelength

Weather

Weather bomb

Wetland

Wormhole

X

X-axis

Xylem

Y

Y-axis

Yeast

Yellow dwarf

Yottawatt

Z

Zika

Zirconium

Zoonosis

Zooplankton

Zooxanthellae

Bethany Brookshire was a longtime staff writer at Science News Explores. She has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology and likes to write about neuroscience, biology, climate and more. She thinks Porgs are an invasive species.