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

  • n. A form of matter hypothesized by proponents of the big bang theory to have existed before the formation of the chemical elements.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In the Big Bang theory, the hot and dense plasma of which the cosmos consisted at the time of recombination in an early stage of its expansion and cooling, when the first atoms formed and photons decoupled, the source of the cosmic background radiation.

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

  • n. (cosmology) the original matter that (according to the big bang theory) existed before the formation of the chemical elements


Middle English, universal matter, from Old French ilem, from Medieval Latin hȳlem, accusative of hȳlē, matter, from Greek hūlē.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Resuscitation of Middle English ylem, one of several variants for the Medieval Latin hyle ("matter"), a transliteration of Aristotle’s concept of “(fundamental) matter”, in Ancient Greek ὕλη (hulē, "wood(s), material(s), matter, subject") or πρώτη ὕλη (“fundamental matter”). (Wiktionary)


  • Had we moved the hostages in the early days, when the unfixed ylem in their bodies had not yet learned how to copy human organs, moving them too far away from a boundary would have killed them.

    Orphans of Chaos

  • There are methods to create a disturbance within the deeper layers, which will cause the ejection of larger areas of time – space, more mass-energy ylem.

    Orphans of Chaos

  • Some have called it a reaction against the oneness of all matter and energy or the ‘ylem’ of pre-time, before the Big Bang.

    Rihannsu: The Bloodwing Voyages

  • Some have called it a reaction against the oneness of all matter and energy in the ‘ylem’ of pre-time, before the Big Bang.


  • She had come too far for that, and in any event it was wholly underground except for a few wiry palps, hollowed out of the bitter rock by the blunt-nosed ardour of prolapse drills; the repeated nannosecond birth and death of primordial ylem the drills had induced while that cavern was being imploded had seemed to convulse the whole demon womb of this world, but in the present silence the very memory of the noise seemed false.


  • But beyond that, good ylem, Commandant, what difference does it make who comes down the gangway in what order? "

    do you ever read writing?

  • See, though; once you’ve ordained an energy state for it to exist in, matter can exist—as bound energy—rather than mere dead ylem floating in a sterile void.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • nevermind... this comment was gross...

    February 23, 2007

  • I've heard it's an excellent humectant.

    February 23, 2007

  • I like my ylem spread extra-thick on white toast with a glass of orange juice. Tasty!

    February 23, 2007

  • The original substance of the universe from which all matter is said to be derived. And that includes definitions of strange words.

    February 23, 2007