imponderable

Definitions

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

  • adjective That cannot undergo precise evaluation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not ponderable; not capable of being weighed; without gravity.
  • noun In physics, a thing which has no weight: a term formerly applied to heat, light, electricity, and magnetism, on the supposition that they were material substances, and still used of the hypothetical universal medium, ether.

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

  • adjective Not ponderable; without sensible or appreciable weight; incapable of being weighed.
  • noun (Physics) An imponderable substance or body; specifically, in the plural, a name formerly applied to heat, light, electricity, and magnetism, regarded as subtile fluids destitute of weight but in modern science little used.

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

  • adjective Not ponderable; without sensible or appreciable weight; incapable of being weighed.
  • noun physics An imponderable substance or body; specifically, in the plural, a name formerly applied to heat, light, electricity, and magnetism.

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

  • noun a factor whose effects cannot be accurately assessed
  • adjective difficult or impossible to evaluate with precision

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • We have no knowledge that the luminiferous ether is attracted by gravity; it is sometimes called imponderable because some people vainly imagine that it has no weight; I call it matter with the same kind of rigidity that this elastic jelly has.

    The Wave Theory of Light

  • In effect, then, the physicist has dispossessed the many imponderables in favor of a single imponderable -- though the word imponderable has been banished from his vocabulary.

    A History of Science: in Five Volumes. Volume III: Modern development of the physical sciences

  • There are far too many factors-too many that are "imponderable" - whose weight just cannot be estimated.

    Peoples and Nations in a Changing World

  • These are what Dennett later calls imponderable questions -- whether we ought to fund exploitation of the poor, lay minefields, smuggle nuclear weapons in suitcases, make nerve gases, and drop bombs!

    Common-Sense Religion

  • It did not allow enough for what we may call the imponderable elements.

    The Unity of Civilization

  • We are all affected by this grief, caused by the imponderable, which is always a risk despite the measures made to insure maximum safety.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • Another imponderable is a fresh winter snow that could cause hardships for people trying to get out to vote.

    RSSMicro Search - Top News on RSS Feeds

  • Another imponderable is a fresh winter snow that could cause hardships for people trying to get out to vote.

    CourierPostOnline.com - News

  • Another imponderable is a fresh winter snow that could cause hardships for people trying to get out to vote.

    daytondailynews.com - News

  • Another imponderable is a fresh winter snow that could cause hardships for people trying to get out to vote.

    Reader - MassLive.com

Comments

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  • "In physics, a thing which has no weight: a term formerly applied to heat, light, electricity, and magnetism, on the supposition that they were material substances, and still used of the hypothetical universal medium, ether."

    --Cent. Dict.

    October 23, 2012