Rákóczy, Francis II (1676–1735), prince of Transylvania who led a Hungarian rising against the Habsburg Empire.
21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Raft to Respiratory distress syndrome
Raft, simple platform, usually square or rectangular, that floats on water.
Rafting, water recreation that gained popularity in the 1960s.
Ragtime, style of piano playing in which the left hand provides harmony and a firm beat, while the right hand plays the melody, usually syncopated.
Ragweed, or hogweed, composite weedy herb (genus Ambrosia) with inconspicuous flower heads.
Rail, family of marsh birds, including gallinules, coots or mud hens, and rails proper.
Railroad, land transportation system in which cars with flanged steel wheels run on tracks of two parallel steel rails. Railroads are economical in their use of energy because the rolling friction of wheel on rail is very low; however, costs of maintenance are high, so high traffic volume is needed. Costs, rising competition and overmanning led to the closure of many minor lines in the United Stat…
Railroad, electric See: Electric railroad.
Railroad, model, hobby in which a miniature railroad system is developed.
Railway brotherhoods, unions for railroad workers in the United States and Canada.
Railway Labor Act, legislation passed by the U.S.
Rain, water drops falling through the atmosphere, the liquid form of precipitation. Raindrops range in size up to 0.16 in (4 mm) in diameter; if they are smaller than 0.02 in (0.5 mm), the rain is called drizzle. The quantity of rainfall is measured by a rain gauge, an open-top vessel that collects the rain, calibrated in inches or millimeters and so giving a reading independent of the area on whi…
Rain dance, ritual Native American dance ceremony performed to induce rain.
Rain forest See: Tropical rain forest.
Rain gauge, instrument that measures accumulated rainfall in a specific location during a particular period.
Rain tree, or monkeypod tree (Pithecellobium saman), shade tree found in tropical climates of the Americas.
Rainbow, arch of concentric spectrally-colored rings seen in the sky by an observer looking at rain, mist, or spray with his or her back to the sun.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument, largest and one of the most perfectly arched natural bridges in the world, situated slightly north of the Arizona-Utah border in Utah's Escalante Desert.
Rainier III (Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand de Grimaldi; 1923– ), prince of Monaco since 1949.
Rainmaking, method by which cloud precipitation is increased.
Rainy Lake, island-studded lake on the U.S.-Canadian border, between Minnesota and Ontario, located 125 mi (201 km) north of Duluth.
Raisin, dried grape.
Raja, or Rajah (from Sanskrit rjan, “king”), Indian or Malay prince (extended to other men of rank during British rule).
Rajputs (Sanskrit, “kings' sons”), military and landowning caste mostly of the Rajasthan (now Rajputana) region, India.
Rake, tool with large teeth that gathers hay or leaves.
Raleigh (pop. 150,255), capital of North Carolina and seat of Wake County.
Raleigh, or Ralegh, Sir Walter (1554?–1618), English adventurer and poet, a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I.
Ram See: Battering ram; Sheep.
Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836–86), Indian saint whose teachings, now carried all over the world by the Ramakrishna Mission (founded in Calcutta in 1897), emphasize the unity of all religions and place equal value on social service, worship, and meditation.
Raman, Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata (1888–1970), Indian physicist awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery of the Raman effect: When molecules are exposed to a beam of infrared radiation, light scattered by the molecules contains frequencies that differ from that of the beam by amounts characteristic of the molecules.
Ramapithecus, prehistoric ape.
Ramayana, major Hindu epic poem, composed in Sanskrit in about the 3rd century B.C., concerning the war waged by the legendary hero Rama against Ravana, the demon-king of Lanka.
Rameau, Jean Philippe (1683–1764), French composer and one of the founders of modern harmonic theory.
Rameses II See: Ramses II.
Ramie (Boehmeria nivea), perennial plant of the nettle family, grown for its fiber.
Ramp, or wild leek (Allium tricoccum), wild plant considered a member of either the amaryllis or lily family.
Rampal, Jean-Pierre (1922– ), French flutist.
Ramsay, Sir William (1852–1916), British chemist awarded the 1904 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery of helium, codiscovery (with Lord Rayleigh) of argon, and codiscovery (with Morris Travers) of krypton, neon, and xenon.
Ramses II (c.1304–1237 B.C.), called “the Great,” Egyptian pharaoh, 4th king of the 19th dynasty, who built hundreds of temples and monuments, probably including Abu Simbel and the columned hall at Karnak.
Ranching, breeding and raising usually of cattle or sheep on large tracts of land; in California also the name for farms smaller than 10 acres.
Rand, Ayn (1905–82), U.S. writer.
Randolph, name of a prominent Virginia family. William Randolph (1651?–1711) was attorney general for Virginia (1694–98). The post was also held by his son Sir John Randolph (1693?–1737) and his grandson Peyton Randolph (1721?–75), who was also president of the 1st Continental Congress. Edmund Jennings Randolph (1753–1813), a nephew of Peyton, became attorney gen…
Randolph Air Force Base, center for recruiting, assigning, and training of personnel for the United States Air Force; Air Training Command headquarters.
Randolph, Edward (1632?–1703), British colonial agent whose reports led to the Massachusetts charter being revoked in 1684.
Randolph, A(sa) Philip (1889–1979), U.S.
Range, or stove, appliance that creates heat for cooking and area warming.
Range finder, instrument used to ascertain the distance of an object from the observer.
Rangoon See: Yangon.
Ranjit Singh (1780–1839), ruler of India who united many Sikhs in a great kingdom.
Rank, military, designation of position in the military service.
Rank, Otto (1884–1939), Austrian psychoanalyst and pupil of Sigmund Freud, best known for his suggestion that the trauma of birth is the basis of later anxiety neurosis and for applying psychoanalysis to artistic creativity.
Ranke, Leopold von (1795–1886), German historian, one of the founders of modern historical research methodology.
Rankin, Jeannette (1880–1973), pacifist, feminist, social reformer, and first woman elected to the U.S.
Ransom, John Crowe (1888–1974), U.S. poet and proponent of the New Criticism, which emphasized textual, rather than social or moral, analysis.
Rape, crime of forced sexual intercourse without the consent of the subject, who may be male or female.
Rape, flowering plant in the mustard family.
Raphael (Raffaello Santi or Sanzio; 1483–1520), Italian High Renaissance painter and architect.
Rapid City (pop. 81,343), second-largest city in South Dakota, situated on Rapid Creek near the Black Hills.
Rapid Deployment Force, special U.S. military unit trained to act quickly upon command.
Rappahannock River, river flowing 212 mi (341 km) southeast from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to Chesapeake Bay.
Rare earth, name for the elements scandium and yttrium and the lanthanide series, Group IIIB of the Periodic Table, occurring throughout nature as monazite and other ores.
Ras Tafari See: Rastafarians; Haile Selassie.
Rasmussen, Knud Johan Victor (1879–1933), Danish explorer and ethnologist.
Raspberry, fruit-bearing bushes (genus Rubus), including some 200 species.
Rasputin, Grigori Yefimovich (1872–1916), Russian mystic (the “mad monk”) who gained influence over the Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna after supposedly curing her son's hemophilia in 1905.
Rastafarians, world-wide religious group founded in Jamaica in the 1920s.
Rat, name for numerous species of rodents belonging to many different families, largely Muridae and Cricetidae.
Ratchet, toothed wheel that operates with a catch, or pawl, so as to rotate in only one direction.
Rate of exchange See: Exchange rate.
Ratel, or honey badger, carnivorous nocturnal African mammal (genus Mellivora) with distinctive grayish back and black underparts.
Rationalism, philosophical doctrine that reality has a logical structure accessible to deductive reasoning and proof.
Rationing, method by which distribution of food and other important products are controlled.
Rattan, stems from any of 200 species of climbing palm of the genus Calamus, family Palmaceae.
Rattlesnake, any of two genera (Crotalus and Sistrurus) of pit vipers of the Americas, referring to a rattle, composed of successive pieces of sloughed-off dead skin, at the end of the tail.
Ratzel, Friedrich (1844–1904), German geographer.
Rauschenberg, Robert (1925– ), U.S. artist, an initiator of the Pop Art of the 1960s.
Rauschenbusch, Walter (1861–1918), U.S.
Rauwolfia serpentina See: Reserpine.
Ravel, Maurice (1875–1937), French composer, known for his adventurous harmonic style and the combination of delicacy and power in such orchestral works as Rhapsodie Espagnole (1908) and Bolero (1928), and the ballets Daphnis and Chloé (1912) and La Valse (1920).
Raven, largest member of the crow family, with a wedge-shaped tail.
Ravenna (pop. 136,100), city in northeastern region of Italy, famous for its superb mosaics, notably in the 5th-century mausoleum of Galla Placidia and 6th-century churches (notably San Vitale and Sant'Apollinare Nuovo).
Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan (1896–1953), U.S. novelist.
Rawlinson, Sir Henry Creswicke (1810–95), British soldier and archeologist who deciphered the cuneiform inscriptions of King Darius I of Persia.
Ray, any of a group of more than 400 species of flat-bodied marine fish (order Rajiformes) with a boneless skeleton made from a tough, elastic substance called cartilage.
Ray, John (1627–1705), English naturalist, who, with Francis Willughby (1635–72), made important contributions to taxonomy, especially in A General History of Plants (1686–1704).
Ray, Man (1890–1976), U.S. abstract artist and photographer, a founder of the Dada movement.
Ray, Satyajit (1921–92), Indian film director.
Rayburn, Sam (1882–1961), longest-serving U.S.
Rayleigh, John William Strutt, 3rd Baron (1842–1919), English physicist awarded the 1904 Nobel Prize in physics for his measurements of the density of the atmosphere and its component gases, work that led to his isolation (with William Ramsay) of argon.
Raymond, Henry Jarvis (1820–69), co-founder and editor of the New York Times from 1851 who took an active part in forming the Republican Party.
Rayon, synthetic cottonlike fiber with a sheen.
Razor, sharp-edged instrument used to shave hair from the skin.
RCMP See: Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
RDX, or Research Department Explosive (C3H6O6N6), powerful explosive used in bombs.
Re, or Ra, in Egyptian mythology, the sun god.
Reaction, chemical See: Chemical reaction.
Reactor, nuclear See: Nuclear reactor.
Read, George (1733–98), American Revolutionary leader.
Reading, process of assimilating language in the written form.
Reading (pop. 336,523), city on the Schuylkill River in southeast Pennsylvania.
Reagan, Ronald Wilson (1911– ), 40th president of the United States. Reagan's administration strengthened the U.S. military presence in Europe, increased support for anti-Communist forces in Central America, and signed a nuclear-arms-reduction treaty with the Soviet Union. It also made large cuts in federal income taxes while sharply reducing spending on domestic programs. Although R…
Real estate, term used to describe land and that which is attached to it, including buildings, trees, and underground resources, such as minerals or water.
Realism, in art and literature, the faithful imitation of real life; more specifically, the artistic movement which started in France c.1850 in reaction to the idealized representations of romanticism and neoclassicism, with a social dimension derived from scientific progress and the revolutions of 1848.
Reaper, machine for harvesting grain.
Reapportionment See: Apportionment, legislative.
Reasoning See: Logic.
Rebecca See: Isaac.
Rebellion of 1837–1838, 2 unsuccessful and parallel uprisings against British colonial rule in Canada, prompted by an economic depression and desire for local self-government.
Recall See: Inititive, referendum, and recall.
Receiver, in law, person, bank, or trust company appointed by a court and paid a fee to take charge of a company or a person's assets, most frequently in cases of bankruptcy.
Recession, extended period of economic decline. In the United States, a recession is defined as a drop in the gross national product (GNP) over 2 consecutive quarterly periods. During recessions, business activities such as buying, selling, and overall productivity decline, causing increases in unemployment and unpredictable fluctuations in stock markets. Until the 1970s, recessions caused prices …
Recife (pop. 1,340,000), capital of Pernambuco, state in northeastern Brazil.
Reciprocal trade agreement, mutual tariff reduction pact enacted between 2 or more nations. Such agreements began in response to the trend toward protectionism that prevailed throughout most of the 19th century, in which steadily increasing tariffs on imported goods hampered international trade. Bilateral trade agreements were worked out in the early 20th century, when 2 nations consented to lower…
Reclamation, Bureau of, agency of the Department of the Interior created to administer the Reclamation Act of 1902 for reclaiming arid land by irrigation in the 16 western states.
Reconstruction, period (1865–77) when Americans tried to rebuild a stable Union after the Civil War. The deadlock inherited by President Andrew Johnson on Abraham Lincoln's death, over who should control Reconstruction, hardened with increasing congressional hostility toward restoring the South to its old position. Republicans wanted to press home the Union victory by following the 1…
Record player See: Phonograph.
Recorder, wind instrument related to the flute but held vertically, with a mouthpiece that channels the airstream and without keys.
Recording industry, group of businesses that produce and sell sound recordings.
Recreation, leisure activities that people enjoy.
Recreational vehicle (RV), temporary living quarters on wheels, used for traveling or camping.
Rectangle, 4-sided plane figure with sides that meet at 4 right-angles.
Rectum See: Colon; Intestine.
Recycling, recovery and use of waste material.
Red Baron See: War aces.
Red cedar See: Juniper.
Red Cloud (1822–1909), chief of the Oglala Sioux and leader of the Native American struggle against the opening of the Bozeman Trail.
Red Cross, international agency for the relief of victims of war or disaster. Its two aims are to alleviate suffering and to maintain a rigid neutrality so that it may cross national borders to reach those otherwise unaidable. An international committee founded by J.H. Dunant and four others from Geneva secured 12 nations' signatures to the first of the Geneva Conventions (1864) for the car…
Red deer (Cervus elaphus), member of the deer family, native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
Red drum See: Redfish.
Red fox See: Fox.
Red gum See: Sweet gum.
Red Jacket (Sagoyewatha; 1758?–1830), Seneca chief named for the red coat he wore when an English ally in the Revolution.
Red pepper See: Capsicum.
Red River, river that rises in northern Texas and flows southeast to join the Mississippi River between Natchez and Baton Rouge, forming most of the Oklahoma-Texas boundary.
Red River of the North, river formed at Wahpeton, N.
Red Sea, sea separating the Arabian Peninsula from the northeastern region of Africa.
Red shift, increase in wavelength of the light from an object (toward the red end of the visible spectrum), usually caused by its rapid recession.
Red snapper See: Snapper.
Red Square See: Moscow.
Red tape, expression used to describe inaction or delay caused by official or bureaucratic inefficiency, inflexibility, or complexity, so called for the red string once used by lawyers to bind legal documents.
Red tide, natural phenomenon caused by a sudden increase of microscopic reddish organisms on the surface of a body of water.
Red-winged blackbird See: Blackbird.
Redbreast See: Robin.
Redbud, flowering tree (genus Cercis) of the pea family, native to North America, southern Europe, and Asia.
Redfield, Robert (1897–1958), U.S. cultural anthropologist best known for his comparative studies of cultures, and for his active support of racial integration.
Redfish, name for several types of popular gamefish found off the Atlantic coasts of North America.
Redford, Robert (1937– ),U.S. actor and director, winner of the Academy Award for best director (1980) for Ordinary People.
Redgrave, Sir Michael (1908–85), English actor.
Redmond, John Edward (1856–1918), Irish politician.
Redon, Odilon (1840–1916), French painter and engraver associated with the Symbolists.
Redpoll, small bird (Acanthis flammed) of the finch family.
Redstart, bird (Setophaga ruticilla) of the wood warbler family.
Reduction, in chemistry, any process that increases the proportion of hydrogen or base-forming elements or radicals in a compound.
Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), world's tallest living tree.
Redwood National Park, area in northern California of 109,207 acres (44,196 hectares), including 40 mi (64 km) of Pacific Ocean coastline, established in 1968 to preserve groves of ancient redwood trees.
Reed, name for cosmopolitan grasses of wet ground and shallow water.
Reed, John (1887–1920), U.S. journalist and radical, author of the eyewitness Ten Days That Shook the World (1919), which recounts the Russian October Revolution.
Reed, Thomas Brackett (1839–1902), U.S.
Reed, Walter (1851–1902), U.S.
Reef See: Atoll; Coral.
Reference book See: Almanac; Dictionary; Encyclopedia.
Referendum See: Inititive, referendum, and recall.
Refining See: Metallurgy; Petroleum; Sugar cane.
Reflection, bouncing back of energy waves (e.g., light radiation, sound or water waves) from a surface.
Reflex action, automatic response of the human body to stimuli.
Reform bills, 3 acts of Parliament passed in Britain during the 19th century to extend the right to vote.
Reformation, religious and political upheaval in western Europe in the 16th century. Primarily an attempt to reform the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church, it led to the establishment of Protestantism. Anticlericalism spread after the movements led by John Wycliffe and the Lollards in 14th-century England and by John Hus in Bohemia in the 15th century. At the same time the papacy had lost pres…
Reformed Church in America, offshoot of the Dutch Reformed Church of the Netherlands, based on the doctrines of John Calvin.
Reformed churches, Protestant churches arising from the Reformation that adhere to Calvinism doctrinally and to Presbyterianism in church polity and are thus distinct from the Lutheran churches and the Church of England.
Refraction, deviation of a ray of light passing through one transparent medium to another of different density, as for instance an object that is half in and half out of water.
Refractory, nonmetallic materials that can withstand high temperatures without losing their hardness.
Refrigeration, removal of heat from an enclosure in order to lower its temperature.
Refugee, or displaced person, person fleeing a native country to avoid a threat or restriction. In the 20th century refugees have created a world problem. Pogroms forced Jews to leave Russia (1881–1917). In World War I Greeks and Armenians fled Turkey. About 1.5 million Russians settled in Europe after the Russian Revolution. In the 1930s Spaniards and Chinese left their respective homeland…
Regelation, melting of ice under pressure and refreezing when the pressure is removed.
Regency style, English architectural and decorative style popular during the regency and reign of George IV (1811–30).
Regeneration, in biology, regrowing of a lost or damaged part of an organism.
Regent, in monarchies, person designated to rule when the rightful ruler is absent, ill, mentally incapable of ruling, or a minor.
Reggae, popular Jamaican musical style that combines U.S. rock and soul music with calypso and other Latin American rhythms.
Regiment, military term for what was once the largest infantry and armored division unit in an army.
Regina (pop. 175,100), capital and largest city of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.
Regina Medal, children's literature award.
Regulators, movement in the western part of North Carolina (1764–71) that resisted extortion and oppression by colonial officials.
Regulus, Marcus Atilius (d. c.249 B.C.), roman general captured in the first Punic War (255 B.C.).
Rehnquist, William Hubbs (1924– ), U.S. jurist.
Reich, German term used to designate an empire.
Reich, Wilhelm (1897–1957), Austrian psychoanalyst who broke with Sigmund Freud over the function of sexual repression, which Reich saw as the root of neurosis.
Reichstag, imperial parliament of the Holy Roman Empire and, from 1871 to 1945, Germany's lower legislative house (the upper house was called the Reichsrat).
Reichswehr, German term meaning “army of the state.” Set up by the German republic after World War I, it had 300,000 troops until the Treaty of Versailles reduced it to 100,000.
Reid, Whitelaw (1837–1912), U.S. journalist, ambassador to Britain (1905–12).
Reign of Terror, period (1793–94) during the French Revolution when fanatical Jacobin reformers, including Maximilien Robespierre, Georges Jacques Danton, and Jacques René Hébert, seized control from the Girondists.
Reims, or Rheims (pop. 185,100), city in northern France, about 100 mi (161 km) east of Paris on the Besle River.
Reincarnation, or transmigration of the soul, belief that the soul survives death and is reborn in the body of another person or living thing.
Reindeer, deer (genus Rangifer) widely distributed in arctic and subarctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America, closely related to the caribou.
Reindeer Lake, natural body of water on the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border in Canada.
Reindeer moss (Cladonia rangiferina), type of lichen commonly found in the Arctic.
Reiner, Fritz (1888–1963), U.S. conductor, director of the Cincinnati Symphony (1922–31), Pittsburgh Symphony (1938–48), Metropolitan Opera (1948–53), and Chicago Symphony (1953–62).
Reinforcement See: Learning.
Reinhardt, Max (Max Goldmann; 1873–1943), Austrian theatrical director famous for his vast and spectacular productions—especially of Oedipus Rex and Faust—and for his elaborate and atmospheric use of stage machinery and management of crowds.
Relapsing fever, bacteria-transmitted ailment that may recur several times in the same person.
Relativity, theory of the nature of space, time, and matter. Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity (1905) is based on the premise that different observers moving at a constant speed with respect to each other find the laws of physics to be identical, and, in particular, find the speed of light waves to be the same (the principle of relativity). Among its consequences are (1) that e…
Relief, form of sculpture in which the elements of the design, whether figures or ornament, project from their background.
Relief See: Welfare.
Religion, system of belief to which a social group is committed, in which there is a supernatural object of awe, worship, and service.
Religion, Wars of, French civil wars (1562–98) caused partly by conflict between Roman Catholics and Protestant Huguenots, and partly by rivalry between the French kings and such great nobles as the dukes of Guise.
Religious education, program of instruction in the doctrines, beliefs and practices of a given religion.
Religious festivals See: Holiday.
Religious life, lifestyle voluntarily chosen by persons to enhance their own spirituality.
Religious Society of Friends See: Quakers.
REM sleep See: Sleep.
Remarque, Erich Maria (1898–1970), German-born novelist famous for his powerful antiwar novel All Quiet on the Western Front (1929), describing the horror of the trenches in World War I.
Rembrandt (Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn; 1606–69), Dutch painter and etcher.
Remington, Frederic (1861–1909), U.S. painter, sculptor and writer chiefly known for his portrayals of the Old West, where he traveled extensively.
Remora, warmwater fish (family Echeneidae) that feeds off other marine animals.
Remote control, control of a system from a distance.
Remote sensing, information-gathering process that operates independently of physical contact with the object being studied.
Remus See: Romulus and Remus.
René of Anjou (1409–80), duke of Anjou and Provence.
Renaissance (French, “rebirth” or “revival”), transitional period between the Middle Ages and modern times (1350–1650). The term was first applied by the Swiss historian Jakob Burckhardt in 1860. The Renaissance saw the Reformation challenge the unity and supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church, along with the rise of humanism, the growth of large nation-states wi…
Reni, Guido (1575–1642), Italian baroque painter.
Reno (pop. 110,000), second-largest city in Nevada and a major resort and gambling center.
Reno, Marcus Albert (1834–89), U.S.
Renoir, Jean (1894–1979), French film director, son of Pierre Auguste Renoir.
Renoir, Pierre Auguste (1841–1919), French Impressionist painter.
Rent, in law, the price a tenant pays for the use of another's property.
Reparations, term applied since World War I to monetary compensation demanded by victorious nations for material losses suffered in war.
Repeal, act of nullifying or removing a law or constitutional amendment from the books.
Repin, Ilya Yefimovich (1844–1930), Russian painter.
Representative government See: Democracy; Republic.
Representatives, House of See: House of Representatives.
Repression See: Psychoanalysis.
Reprieve, in criminal law, the postponement of a sentence that has been imposed by the courts.
Reproduction, process by which an organism produces offspring. In asexual reproduction parts of an organism split off to form new individuals; the process is found in some animals but is more common in plants: e.g., the fission of single-celled plants; the budding of yeasts; the fragmentation of filamentous algae; spore production in bacteria, algae, and fungi; and the production of vegetative org…
Reproductive system See: Reproduction.
Reptile, cold blooded vertebrate with dry, scaly skin. Reptiles can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including the sea and points north of the Arctic Circle, but most live in the tropics. There are no reptiles in Antarctica. There are about 6,000 species of reptiles. They range in size from 2 in (5 cm) to 30 ft (9 m). They breathe through lungs and are cold blooded, meaning that their body …
Reptiles, Age of See: Dinosaur; Prehistoric animal.
Republic (from Latin res publica, “thing of the people”), form of government in which the head of state is not a monarch (and today is usually a president).
Republican Party, one of the two major political parties of the United States. It is sometimes called the G.O.P., which stands for Grand Old Party, a nickname dating from the 19th century. It was founded in 1854 by dissidents of the Whig, Democratic, and Free Soil parties to unify the growing antislavery forces. Its first national nominating convention was held in 1856; J.C. Frémont was ado…
Research, use of appropriate methods to discover new knowledge, develop new applications of existing knowledge, or explore relationships between ideas or events.
Reserpine (C33H40N2O9), tranquilizing drug used to treat mild forms of hypertension (high blood pressure).
Reservation See: Indian reservation; Native Americans.
Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), U.S.
Reservoir, body of water or receptacle used for storing large supplies of water.
Resin, high-molecular-weight substance characterized by its gummy or tacky consistency at certain temperatures.
Resin, synthetic, industrial chemical compound made up of many simple molecules linked together to form large, complex molecules. Most plastics and polymers are a form of synthetic resin. Complicated chemical processes are used to convert petroleum, coal, water, air, and wood into more complex chemicals, such as alcohol, phenol, ammonia, and formaldehyde; these, in turn, are combined to form synth…
Resorcinol (C6H4[OH]2), compound used to manufacture resins, dyes, medical products, and other chemical compounds.
Resources, natural See: Natural resources.
Respighi, Ottorino (1879–1936), Italian composer, director (1924–26) of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Respiration, term applied to several activities and processes involving the exchange of gases with the environment, occurring in all animals and plants. Breathing movements, if any, and the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, may be called external respiration, while energy-releasing processes at the cellular level are termed “internal respiration,” or tissue respiration. Air, whi…
Respirator, machine that aids the respiratory process in human beings, especially in extreme circumstances when a patient has difficulty breathing normally or if breathing stops altogether.
Respiratory distress syndrome See: Hyaline membrane disease.