from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A system in which finely divided particles, which are approximately 1 to 1,000 millimicrons in size, are dispersed within a continuous medium in a manner that prevents them from being filtered easily or settled rapidly.
  • noun The particulate matter so dispersed.
  • noun The gelatinous stored secretion of the thyroid gland, consisting mainly of thyroglobulin.
  • noun Gelatinous material resulting from degeneration in diseased tissue.
  • adjective Of, relating to, containing, or having the nature of a colloid.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Like glue or jelly.
  • In geology, partly amorphous: applied to minerals.
  • noun A substance in a peculiar state of aggregation characterized by slow diffusibility, permeability by crystalloid solutions, etc. See extract.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Resembling glue or jelly; characterized by a jellylike appearance; gelatinous.
  • noun (Physiol. Chem.) A substance (as albumin, gum, gelatin, etc.) which is of a gelatinous rather than a crystalline nature, and which diffuses itself through animal membranes or vegetable parchment more slowly than crystalloids do; -- opposed to crystalloid.
  • noun (Med.) A gelatinous substance found in colloid degeneration and colloid cancer.
  • noun (Med.) a preparation of astringent and antiseptic substances with some colloid material, as collodion, for ready use.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Glue-like.
  • noun chemistry A stable system of two phases, one of which is dispersed in the other in the form of very small droplets or particles.
  • noun meteorology An intimate mixture of two substances one of which, called the dispersed phase (or colloid), is uniformly distributed in a finely divided state throughout the second substance, called the dispersion medium (or dispersing medium). The dispersion medium may be a gas, a liquid, or a solid, and the dispersed phase may also be any of these, with the exception that one does not speak of a colloidal system of one gas in another. A system of liquid or solid particles colloidally dispersed in a gas is called an aerosol. A system of solid substances or water-insoluble liquids colloidally dispersed in liquid water is called a hydrosol.
  • noun geology A particle less than 1 micron in diameter, following the Wentworth scale

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a mixture with properties between those of a solution and fine suspension


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek κόλλα (kolla, "glue") + -oid.



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  • Is defined by the Udden-Wentworth scale as a suspension comprised of particles whose diameter is less than a micrometre.

    February 26, 2007