from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The lagging of an effect behind its cause, as when the change in magnetism of a body lags behind changes in the magnetic field.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A property of a system such that an output value is not a strict function of the corresponding input, but also incorporates some lag, delay, or history dependence, and in particular when the response for a decrease in the input variable is different from the response for an increase. For example, a thermostat with a nominal setpoint of 75° might switch the controlled heat source on when the temperature drops below 74°, and off when it rises above 76°.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A lagging or retardation of the effect, when the forces acting upon a body are changed, as if from velocity or internal friction; a temporary resistance to change from a condition previously induced, observed in magnetism, thermoelectricity, etc., on reversal of polarity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A lagging of one of two related phenomena behind the other.

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

  • n. the lagging of an effect behind its cause; especially the phenomenon in which the magnetic induction of a ferromagnetic material lags behind the changing magnetic field


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Greek husterēsis, a shortcoming, from husterein, to come late, from husteros, late; see ud- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Coined by Sir James Alfred Ewing from Ancient Greek ὑστέρησις (husterēsis, "shortcoming"), from ὑστερέω (hustereō, "I am late, fall short"), from ὕστερος (husteros, "later").


  • Such systems often exhibit hysteresis, that is multiple states for the same system parameters but which state you are in depends on history, i.e., initial conditions.

    This "Fix" in the GISS Code « Climate Audit

  • The ice sheet's so-called hysteresis, or resistance to change, is now in doubt.

    Scientific American

  • This intermediate input region is a deadspace where there is no response, a property called hysteresis, it is like backlash in a mechanical linkage.

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  • If high sensitivity is required the hysteresis is a problem, but in many circuits it is a helpful property.

    LearnHub Activities

  • Economists use the term "hysteresis" to describe this dynamic in which the longer workers are jobless, the more their skills erode.

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  • In 1986, Summers wrote an influential paper about 'hysteresis' in unemployment.

    Wonkbook: GOP's 'Pledge'; no vote on tax cuts; DISCLOSE gets another chance

  • Summers won't say it, but short of a total remake of "free market" economics, likely nothing and perhaps that's America's future with growing millions consigned to a permanent underclass, while an elite few at the top grow richer, until one day "hysteresis" snaps the system in a disruptive convulsion, the old model passes from the scene, and nothing is the same again.

    US Census Bureau Confirms Rising Poverty, Falling Incomes, and Growing Numbers of Uninsured

  • The moisture content in equilibrium with a given relative humidity is also affected by the so-called 'hysteresis' effect.

    Chapter 7

  • "degenerative syndrome" called hysteresis that causes marble to expand more than it should.

    Fast Company

  • Economists call this "hysteresis": it means that a recession can be more than a cyclical phenomenon, and have long-lasting effects.



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