Cárdenas, Lázaro (1895–1970), Mexican soldier and politician.
21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Cannon to Catherine
Cannon, large firearm with a barrel, breech, and firing mechanism.
Cannon-ball tree, South American tree (Couroupita guianensis) noted for its spherical woody fruit, which resembles a rusty cannon ball.
Cano, Juan Sebastián del (1476–1526), Basque sailor who succeeded Ferdinand Magellan as commander of the expedition that completed the first circumnavigation of the globe (1522).
Canoe, long, narrow, lightweight boat used primarily for fishing and recreational activities on lakes and rivers.
Canon, form or procedure of contrapuntal musical composition in which one voice or instrument starts to sing or play a theme and other voices or instruments follow at a specified interval of time, all singing or playing the same theme according to the same rule (canon).
Canonization, process by which a Christian church declares a deceased person to be a saint.
Canopus, second brightest star in the sky.
Canova, Antonio (1757–1822), Italian sculptor, a leading exponent of neo-classicism.
Cantaloupe See: Muskmelon.
Cantata (from: Italian cantare, “to sing”), musical composition for solo voice or choir, usually with an instrumental accompaniment.
Canterbury (pop. 34,400), city and county borough of Kent, on the Stour River 55 mi (89 km) southeast of London.
Canterbury bell, any of several biennial flowering plants with bell-shaped flowers, in particular the Campanula medium.
Canterbury Tales, best-known work of English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, written between 1387 and his death in 1400.
Canticle, piece of religious music, similar in character to a psalm, but using a passage from the Bible other than the psalms themselves.
Canticles See: Song of Solomon.
Canton (pop. 394,106), city in northeastern Ohio, about 60 mi (97 km) southeast of Cleveland; seat of Stark County.
Canton, China See: Guangzhou.
Canute (995?–1035), king of England, Norway, and Denmark.
Canvasback (Aythya valisneria), diving duck found in coastal and inland waters of North America.
Canyonlands National Park, in eastern Utah, established in 1964.
Canzoniere See: Petrarch.
Cap-Haitien (pop. 70,500), seaport on the north coast of Haiti and the country's second largest city.
Capacitance, ability of a system to store an electric charge, measured by the charge that must be communicated to a body to raise its potential 1 unit.
Capacitor, or condenser, electrical component used to store electric charge and to provide reactance in alternating current circuits. In essence, a capacitor consists of 2 conducting plates separated by a thin layer of insulator. When the plates are connected to the terminals of a battery, a current flows until the capacitor is “charged,” with 1 plate positive and the other negative.…
Cape Breton Island, island in northeast Nova Scotia, 110 mi (177 km) long, up to 75 mi (121 km) wide, separated from the Canadian mainland by the Strait of Canso (since 1955 joined by a causeway).
Cape Canaveral, promontory on the eastern coast of Florida, site of the John F.
Cape Cod, peninsula in Barnstable County, southeast Massachusetts, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay.
Cape Cod Canal, sea-level channel cutting through the Cape Cod (Massachusetts) peninsula.
Cape of Good Hope, rocky promontory near the southern tip of Africa, 30 mi (48 km) south of Cape Town, chief navigational hazard in rounding Africa.
Cape Hatteras, promontory lying 30 mi (48 km) off the North Carolina coast and long known as “the graveyard of the Atlantic” because of its rocky shoals.
Cape Horn, southernmost tip of South America, known for its cold, stormy climate.
Cape Kennedy See: Cape Canaveral.
Cape May, oldest beach resort in the United States, on Cape May Peninsula, N.J.
Cape Province, former province of South Africa, 278,465 sq mi (721,224 sq km) in area.
Cape Town (pop. 911,500), legislative capital of South Africa and capital of WestCape Province.
Cape Verde (Republic of), independent nation in Africa, lying in the Atlantic Ocean some 400 mi (644 km) west of Senegal. The area is about 1,550 sq mi (4,015 sq km). Cape Verde consists of 10 islands and 5 islets, forming a horseshoe. The islands are volcanic—only about 10% of the land is cultivable. The climate is tropical, with a rainy season, although recently there has been cycl…
Cape York, point of land on the northwest coast of Greenland.
Capek, Karel (1890–1938), Czech writer whose works, known for their humor and antiauthoritarian stand, include the plays R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots, 1920) and The Insect Play (1921) and the novel The War with the Newts (1936).
Capella, brightest star of the constellation Auriga, the charioteer.
Caper (genus Capparis), prickly Mediterranean shrub cultivated for its tender aromatic buds, which are pickled for use in sauces such as tartare sauce.
Capet, Hugh See: Hugh Capet.
Capetians, ruling house of France (987–1328) that laid the basis for the French state by consolidating and extending its power.
Capillarity, or capillary action, rise or fall of a liquid within a narrow tube (less than 0.02 m/0.5 mm in diameter) when one end is placed beneath the surface of a liquid, caused by its surface tension, which is due to the forces of attraction between the molecules of the liquid. Where, in the case of adhesion, these forces are weaker than the attraction of the molecules for the walls of the tub…
Capillary, minute blood vessel that connects the arteries and veins.
Capital, in economics, those goods that are used in production, such as plant and equipment (fixed capital) and raw materials, components, and semifinished goods (circulating capital), as opposed to goods intended for immediate consumption.
Capital punishment (from Latin caput, “head”), originally, death by decapitation; now, execution in general.
Capitalism, economic system in which goods and services are provided by the efforts of private individuals and groups (firms) who own and control the means of production, compete with one another, and aim to make a profit. The concept has several overlapping senses, but the idea of private ownership of the means of production and their employment in the search of profit are common to all of them. …
Capitol Hill See: Washington, D.C.
Capitol, U.S., building in Washington, D.C. that houses the Congress of the United States.
Capone, Al (1899–1947), U.S. gangster.
Capote, Truman (1924–1984), U.S. writer.
Capp, Al (1909–79), U.S. cartoonist, creator of the comic strip “Li'l Abner.” The New York Mirror first published this famous comic about the residents of “Dogpatch U.S.A.” in 1934.
Capra, Frank (1897–91), U.S. film director and 3-time Academy Award winner.
Capri (pop. 7,500), Italian island resort in the Bay of Naples, site of the Villa Iovis of Roman Emperor Tiberius.
Capricorn, Tropic of See: Tropic of Capricorn.
Capsicum, genus of the nightshade family, cultivated in warm climates for its fruit (pepper); also, pod of the cayenne pepper plant, which, when dried and prepared, is used in medicine as an irritant and a stimulant.
Captain Kidd See: Kidd, William.
Capuchin (Cebus capucinus), small tree-dwelling monkey with a long, prehensile tail.
Capuchins, Roman Catholic order of friars and an independent branch of the Franciscans.
Capybara (Hydrochoerus capybara), world's largest rodent.
Car See: Automobile; Railroad.
Caracal, or desert lynx (Felis caracal), medium-sized cat of Africa and southern Asia that is distinguished by a fawn coat, long legs, and long black ear tufts.
Caracara, any of a variety of long-legged South American hawks with long narrow wings, related to the falcon.
Caracas (pop. 3,435,800), Venezuelan capital, near the Caribbean Sea at an altitude of 3,020 ft (920 m).
Caramanlis, Constantine (1907–98), Greek premier (1955–63, 1974–80) and president (1980–85, 1990–95).
Carat, measure of the weight of gems and pearls or of the purity of precious metals.
Caravaggio, Michelangelo Merisi da (1573–1610), Italian Baroque painter who achieved startling and dramatic effects with a technique of shadow and light called chiaroscuro.
Caraway (Carum carvi), biennial or perennial plant of the carrot family, the seed of which is used for flavoring medicinal purposes.
Caraway, Hattie Ophelia Wyatt (1878–1950), first woman elected to the U.S.
Carbide, any chemical compound of carbon and a metal.
Carbine, short, lightweight rifle most useful to soldiers fighting from tanks and other cramped spaces.
Carbohydrate, any of a group of chemical compounds—including sugars, starches, and cellulose—containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen only, with the ratio of hydrogen to oxygen atoms usually 2:1.
Carbolic acid, or phenol (C6H5OH), first chemical to be used as an antiseptic.
Carbon, chemical element, symbol C; for physical constants see Periodic Table.
Carbon 14 See: Radiocarbon.
Carbon bisulfide See: Carbon disulfide.
Carbon black See: Carbon.
Carbon dating See: Radiocarbon.
Carbon dioxide (CO2), colorless, odorless, incombustible gas, consisting of 1 carbon atom and 2 oxygen atoms.
Carbon disulfide (CS2), clear, inflammable liquid chemical compound, composed of 1 carbon atom and 2 sulfur atoms, used in the manufacture of viscose rayon and cellophane, as a solvent for fats, rubber, resins, waxes, and sulfur, and in matches, fumigants, and pesticides. It is a typical toxic industrial chemical. The principal route of exposure in humans is by inhalation; skin contact is much les…
Carbon monoxide (CO), colorless, odorless, very poisonous gas that burns with a pale blue flame and is a component of coal gas, exhaust fumes, and most smoke (including cigarette smoke).
Carbon tetrachloride (CCI4), colorless liquid with a distinctive smell, used mainly as a solvent.
Carbonate, salt of carbonic acid that contains the carbonate ion CO3=.
Carboniferous, collective term used mainly in Europe for the combined Mississippian and Pennsylvanian periods of the geological time scale, 345–280 million years ago.
Carborundum, commercial name for silicon carbide (SiC), widely used abrasive and one of the hardest substances known.
Carbuncle, infection under the full thickness of the skin caused by the pus-forming germ Staphylococcus.
Carburetor, device that mixes air and gasoline in the correct proportion for efficient combustion (about 15:1 by weight) in internal combustion engines (as in automobiles).
Carcassonne (pop. 41,200), city in southern France, southeast of Toulouse.
Carcinogen See: Cancer.
Carcinoma, malignant tumor or new growth (neoplasm) derived from epithelial and glandular tissues, a form of cancer.
Card games, games played with rectangular cards marked with number (rank) and symbol (suit).
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), perennial plant the seed of which is used as a spice and for medicinal purposes.
Cardiac See: Heart.
Cardiff (pop. 295,600), city and seaport near the mouth of the Taff River in southern Wales.
Cardigan Welsh corgi, breed of dog first raised in Wales.
Cardinal, or redbird (Cardinalis cardinalis), familiar songbird of the finch family, found in North America.
Cardinal, hierarchically high-ranking official of the Roman Catholic Church, whose principal duties include the election of the pope, counseling the papacy, and administrating Church government.
Cardinal flower, tall plant (Lobelia cardinalis) native to North and Central America.
Cardiology, science of the heart, including the study of its diseases and functions.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), restoration of hearbeat and breathing by external cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth breathing.
Cardozo, Benjamin Nathan (1870–1938), U.S. jurist and Supreme Court justice (1932–38) after an impressive career at the bar and in the New York courts.
Cards See: Card games.
Carducci, Glosuè (1835–1907), Italian scholar and patriotic poet.
CARE (Cooperative for American Relief to Everywhere, Inc.), charity founded in 1945, initially for aid to Europe but now operating worldwide.
Caribbean Sea, warm oceanic basin off Central America, partly enclosed by islands.
Caribou (Rangifer tarandus), the only member of the deer family (Cervidae) in which both sexes bear antlers.
Caribs, Native American tribe encountered by the Spanish conquerors of America in the 16th century.
Caricature, sketch exaggerating or distorting characteristics of its subject for satirical purposes.
Carillon, musical instrument, usually permanently set in a bell-tower, consisting of a series of bells on which melodies and simple harmonies are played from a keyboard and pedal console much like that of an organ.
Carl Gustaf (1946– ), king of Sweden (Charles XV Gustavus) from 1973.
Carleton, Sir Guy, 1st Baron Dorchester (1724–1808), English soldier and governor.
Carlos, Juan See: Juan Carlos I.
Carlota, Empress See: Maximilian.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, national park in southeastern New Mexico.
Carlyle, Thomas (1795–1881), Scottish essayist and historian. His writings greatly influenced literature and political and religious thought in mid-19th-century Britain. Carlyle was much influenced by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose Wilhelm Meister he translated (1824). In 1826 he married Jane Welsh, who greatly helped his literary career. At her farm near Dumfries he wrote Sartor Resartu…
Carman, (William) Bliss (1861–1929), Canadian poet and essayist.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, or Carmel (pop. 4,239), town in California situated on Carmel Bay south of Monterey.
Carmelites, friars of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church.
Carmichael, Hoagy (Hoagland Howard Carmichael; 1899–1981), U.S. songwriter.
Carmichael, Stokely (1941– ), U.S.
Carnap, Rudolf (1891–1970), German-U.S. logician and philosopher of science, a leading figure in the Vienna Circle and founder of logical positivism, who later turned to studying problems of linguistic philosophy and the role of probability in inductive reasoning.
Carnarvon, George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, 5th Earl of (1866–1923), English Egyptologist.
Carnation, flower popular for buttonholes and in horticulture, subspecies of pink (Dianthus caryophyllus).
Carneades (213?–129? B.C.), Greek philosopher who rejected the notion of an absolute standard of truth.
Carnegie, Andrew (1835–1919), U.S. steel magnate and philanthropist.
Carnegie, Dale (1888–1955), U.S. author and lecturer whose How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936) became the best-selling nonfiction work of modern times, second only to the Bible.
Carnegie Foundations, philanthropic organizations established by Andrew Carnegie to advance education, research, and world peace.
Carnelian, or cornelian, one of the chalcedony group of crystalline quartz forms.
Carnival, term for any festive season with processions and masquerades, and particularly for the period preceding Lent.
Carnivore, order of flesh-eating mammals with daggerlike canine teeth, cutting cheek teeth, and sharp claws.
Carnivorous plant, or insectivorous plant, term used for plants that have mechanisms for trapping and digesting insects.
Carnot, Lazare Nicolas Marguerite (1753–1823), French soldier and politician, “Organizer of Victory” for the Revolutionary armies.
Carnot, Nicolas Léonard Sadi (1796–1832), French physicist.
Carnotite, yellow mineral found in sandstone and limestone deposits in the Colorado Plateau.
Caro, Joseph ben Ephraim (1488–1575), Jewish Talmudist and philosopher whose codification of Jewish law, the Shulhan Arukh (1565), became the standard authority.
Carob, evergreen tree (Ceratonia siliqua) native to the Mediterranean but also cultivated elsewhere.
Carol, name of 2 kings of Romania.
Carol, cheerful song sung at Christmas, but once also performed (as a dance song) at other festive seasons.
Caroline Islands, volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, administered as a trust territory by the United States.
Carolingian, Frankish dynasty founded in the 7th century by Pepin of Landen, whose successors ruled as mayors under the Merovingians until A.D. 751, when Pepin III made himself king.
Carolingian art, style created in France and western Germany in the late 8th and 9th centuries. The style, named for Charlemagne, who was crowned emperor of the restored Holy Roman Empire in 800, was an attempt to revive the arts of antiquity. Instead of the abstract geometric patterns and mythical animals used by artists of this region in the preceding centuries, Carolingian artists reintroduced …
Carp (Cyprinus carpio), freshwater, bottom-feeding fish native to Asia but now found in Europe and America.
Carpaccio, Vittore (c.1460–1526), Venetian Renaissance narrative painter, influenced by Gentile Bellini.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, sensation of pins-and-needles or numbness in the thumb and first two fingers, plus pain in the wrist, in the palm, or in the forearm.
Carpathian Mountains, European mountain range, about 900 mi (1,448 km) long, an extension of the Alps running from Czechoslovakia through Poland, the USSR, and Rumania.
Carpentry, craft of laying floors, building stairways, and erecting ceiling joists and roof rafters of wood using traditional tools such as the hammer, chisel, pincers, plane, square, plumb line, and tape measure.
Carpet beetle (Anthrenus scrophulariae), destructive household insect whose larvae feed on carpets, rugs, furniture, fur, and clothing.
Carpetbagger, Northerner who moved into the South during the Reconstruction after the Civil War.
Carracci, family of Bolognese painters.
Carrageen See: Irish moss.
Carranza, Venustiano (1859–1920), Mexican political leader.
Carrel, Alexis (1873–1944), U.S. surgeon and biologist who received the 1912 Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine for his work in suturing blood vessels, in transfusion, and in organ transplantation.
Carrier pigeon, breed of show pigeon derived from the rock pigeon.
Carroll, Charles (1737–1832), U.S. revolutionary leader, member of the Continental Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Carroll, Daniel (1730–96), U.S. revolutionary politician, signer of the Articles of Confederation and the U.S.
Carroll, John (1735–1815), first U.S.
Carroll, Lewis (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson; 1832–98), English mathematician best known for his children's books, Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (1872), built on mathematical illogic and paradox.
Carrot (Daucus carota), biennial vegetable of the parsley family with a swollen, edible root, grown extensively in America and Europe.
Carson City (pop. 40,443), state capital of Nevada, south of Reno.
Carson, Kit (Christopher Carson; 1809–68), American frontiersman.
Carson, Rachel Louise (1907–64), U.S. marine biologist and science writer whose Silent Spring (1962) first alerted the U.S. public to the dangers of environmental pollution.
Cartagena (pop. 168,800), city and seaport on the Mediterranean coast in southeastern Spain.
Cartel, formal organization of producers in a particular industry, designed to set prices, control levels of production, and divide markets.
Carter, Don (1926– ), U.S. bowler.
Carter, Elliott Cook (1908– ), U.S. composer, Pulitzer Prize winner (1960, 1973).
Carter, Howard (1873–1939), English Egyptologist, famous for excavations in the Valley of the Kings at Luxor, Egypt, with Lord Carnarvon that discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922.
Carter, Jimmy (James Earl Carter, Jr.; 1924– ), 39th president of the United States. Carter grew up on a Georgia farm and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946. In the navy he studied nuclear physics and worked on the atomic submarine program. In 1953 he returned to Georgia, built the family's farm into a prosperous peanut business, and entered politics as a Democrat. As gove…
Carteret, Sir George (c.1610–80), English politician, admiral, and lieutenant-governor of East Jersey from 1643.
Cartesian philosophy See: Descartes, René.
Carthage, ancient North African city established in 814 B.C. by the Phoenicians, traders of the Mediterranean.
Carthusians, contemplative and austere Roman Catholic monastic order founded in France in 1084 by St.
Cartier-Bresson, Henri (1908– ), international French documentary photographer who rose to fame with his coverage of the Spanish Civil War.
Cartier, Jacques (1491–1557), French explorer who discovered the St.
Cartier, Sir George Étienne (1814–73), Canadian statesman and leading French-Canadian advocate of confederation.
Cartilage, tough, flexible connective tissue found in all vertebrates, consisting of cartilage cells in a matrix of collagen fibers and a firm protein gel.
Cartoon, originally, preparatory sketch in the fine arts; since the mid-19th century, humorous or satirical drawing.
Cartwright, Edmund (1743–1823), English inventor of a mechanical loom (1785) that was the ancestor of the modern power loom.
Cartwright, Peter (1785–1872), U.S.
Caruso, Enrico (1873–1921), Italian operatic tenor famous for his voice and his artistry.
Carver, George Washington (1860–1943), U.S. chemist, botanist, and educator, born of slave parents in Missouri.
Carver, John (1576–1621), first governor of Plymouth Colony (1620–21).
Cary, Joyce (1888–1957), English novelist most famous for 2 trilogies: the first on art—Herself Surprised (1941), To Be a Pilgrim (1942), and The Horse's Mouth (1944), and the second on politics—Prisoner of Grace (1952), Except the Lord (1953), and Not Honour More (1955).
Cary, Mary Ann Shadd (1823–1893), U.S. teacher and journalist, first North American black woman to establish and edit a weekly newspaper.
Casaba (Cucumis melo), type of muskmelon, also called winter melon because it ripens in fall and is available in winter.
Casablanca (pop. 3,210,000), largest city in Morocco and the country's leading port.
Casals, Pablo (1876–1973), virtuoso Spanish cellist and conductor, brilliant interpreter of the music of J.S.
Casanova (De Seingalt), Giovanni Giacomo (1725–98), Venetian author and adventurer whose name became a synonym for seducer.
Cascade Range, mountain range extending 700 mi (1,127 km) from northern California to British Columbia.
Cascade Tunnel, longest railroad tunnel in North America, cutting across 7.79 mi (12.5 km) of the Cascade range in the central part of Washington.
Cascara sagrada, small buckthorn tree of the Western United States whose bark is used in making a laxative.
Case method, system of teaching law by the study of actual cases.
Casehardening, treatment of mild steel to give it an extremely hard surface.
Casein, important protein that accounts for 80% of the protein content of milk.
Cashew (Anacardium occidentale), tropical American tree of the sumac family cultivated in Africa and India.
Cashmere, very fine natural fiber, the soft underhair of the Kashmir goat, bred in India, Iran, China, and Mongolia.
Caslon, William (1692–1766), English typefounder, inventor of Caslon type, for many years the standard typeface in the 18th century.
Casper (pop. 61,226), second largest city in Wyoming, on the North Platte River, at an altitude of 5,140 ft (1,566 m).
Caspian Sea, world's largest inland sea (143,000 sq mi/370,370 sq km), in the southwestern part of the former USSR and Iran.
Cass, Lewis (1782–1866), U.S. soldier and political leader.
Cassandra, in Greek mythology, prophetess of doom whose warnings were never heeded.
Cassatt, Mary (1845–1926), U.S.-born impressionist painter who lived mainly in Paris.
Cassava, or manioc (genus Manihot), potato-like tuber plant, staple in its native Central and South America and in West Africa and southeastern Asia.
Cassette See: Tape recorder; Videotape recorder.
Cassia, genus of tropical plants.
Cassino (pop. 26,300), Italian town about 75 miles southeast of Rome, site of Monte Cassino, a Benedictine monastery founded in A.D. 529.
Cassiopeia, w-shaped constellation of the northern hemisphere, which appears between the North Star and the Big Dipper, directly north of the constellation Andromeda.
Cassirer, Ernst (1874–1945), German-born philosopher.
Cassiterite, or tinstone, principal ore of tin.
Cassius Longinus, Gaius (d. 42 B.C.), Roman general, conspirator to assassinate Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.
Cassowary, large, flightless bird of northern Australia and New Guinea.
Castagno, Andrea del (1423–57), Florentine painter of church frescoes, portraits, and murals.
Castanets, small percussion instrument consisting of 2 shell-shaped halves, usually made of wood or ivory.
Caste system, division of society into closed groups, primarily by birth, but usually also involving religion and occupation.
Castiglione, Comte Baldassare (1478–1529), Italian courtier, diplomat, and author.
Castile and Aragón, 2 kingdoms of Spain, united in 1479 by Isabella of Castile and her husband, Ferdinand V.
Castilla, Ramón (1797?–1867), president of Peru, 1845–51 and 1855–62.
Casting, production of a desired form by pouring the raw material (alloys, fiberglass, plastics, steel) in liquid form into a suitably shaped mold.
Castle, fortified dwelling, built to dominate and guard a region.
Castle, Vernon (1887–1918), and Irene (1893–1969), couple who revolutionized ballroom dancing.
Castlereagh, Robert Stewart, 2d Viscount (1769–1822), Irish born British statesman, creator of the Quadruple Alliance that defeated Napoleon.
Castor oil, thick oil obtained from the castor bean, used as a purgative and a lubricant.
Castor and Pollux, in Greek mythology, twin heroes, called the Dioscuri.
Castries (pop. 52,900), capital and largest city of the Caribbean island nation of St.
Castro, Fidel (1926– ) Cuban premier (1959– ) and revolutionary.
Castro, Raul Hector (1916– ), governor of Arizona (1975–77).
Cat, hunting carnivore of the family Felidae, varying in size from the small domestic cat and the small wild cats (lynx and ocelot) to the great cats (lion, tiger, leopard, and cheetah).
CAT (computerized axial tomography) scan, painless, quick diagnostic procedure in which hundreds of X-ray pictures are taken as a camera revolves around a body part.
Catacombs, underground cemeteries of the early Christians, who did not follow the Greek and Roman practice of cremation.
Catalepsy, condition of loss of voluntary motion in which the arms and legs remain in any position they are placed in.
Catalonia, region in northeastern Spain, comprising the provinces of Lérida, Gerona, Barcelona, and Tarragona.
Catalpa, genus of ornamental shade tree of the bignonia family, growing naturally in eastern Asia, the West Indies, and the southern United States.
Catalysis, change in the rate of a chemical reaction by an additive (a catalyst speeds up reactions; an inhibitor slows down reactions) that is itself unchanged at the end of the reaction.
Catamaran, boat with 2 narrow, identical hulls connected by a flat bridge deck.
Catamount, folk name for the puma and the lynx.
Cataplexy, condition of abrupt and temporary loss of voluntary muscle control brought on by some extreme emotional stimulus, especially fear, anger, or mirth.
Catapult, ancient military weapon used for hurling missiles.
Cataract, opacity of the lens of the eye, causing a progressive loss of vision.
Catarrh, mild inflammation of a mucous membrane, associated with a copious secretion of mucus.
Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), songbird of the thrush family, named for the mewing notes in its imitative song.
Catechism, manual of religious instruction arranged in question-and- answer form.
Catechu, strong, astringent substance prepared from the wood of various tropical Asiatic plants and used in medicine with prepared chalk to treat diarrhea.
Caterpillar, larva of a moth or a butterfly, with 13 segments, 3 pairs of true legs, and up to 5 pairs of soft false legs.
Catfish, freshwater, bottom-feeding fish (suborder Nematognathi) with barbels, or whiskers, around the mouth, tough scaleless skin, and sharp spines.
Catharsis, in psychoanalysis, bringing into the open of a previously repressed memory or emotion, in the hope of releasing and eliminating stress.
Cathay, name by which China was known in medieval Europe.
Cathedral, principal church of a diocese, in which the bishop has his cathedra, his official seat or throne.
Cather, Willa Sibert (1876–1947), U.S. novelist noted for her psychologically astute portrayals of the people of Nebraska and the Southwest.
Catherine, name of 2 Russian empresses.