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Atom Definition


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Other Atom Definition

[n] (nontechnical usage) a tiny piece of anything
[n] (physics and chemistry) the smallest component of an element having the chemical properties of the element

Synonyms

molecule, mote, particle, speck

Misc. Definitions

\At"om\, n. [L. atomus, Gr. ?, uncut, indivisible; 'a priv. + ?, verbal adj. of ? to cut: cf. F. atome. See {Tome}.]
1. (Physics) (a) An ultimate indivisible particle of matter. (b) An ultimate particle of matter not necessarily indivisible; a molecule. (c) A constituent particle of matter, or a molecule supposed to be made up of subordinate particles. Note: These three definitions correspond to different views of the nature of the ultimate particles of matter. In the case of the last two, the particles are more correctly called molecules. --Dana.
2. (Chem.) The smallest particle of matter that can enter into combination; one of the elementary constituents of a molecule.
3. Anything extremely small; a particle; a whit. There was not an atom of water. --Sir J. Ross.
\At"om\, v. t. To reduce to atoms. [Obs.] --Feltham.

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