Sterility, condition of being incapable of producing offspring; freedom from germs.
21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Sterility to Swedish
Sterilization, surgical procedure designed to prevent conception.
Stern, Isaac (1920– ), U.S. violinist.
Sternberg, Joseph von (1891–1969), Austrian-born German-U.S. film director.
Sterne, Laurence (1713–68), British clergyman who became known as a novelist, largely because of the popularity of his book The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760–67).
Steroid, hormone produced in the body from cholesterol, mainly by the adrenal glands.
Stethoscope, instrument devised (1819) by René T.
Stettin See: Szczecin.
Stettinius, Edward Riley, Jr. (1900–49), U.S. businessperson and politician.
Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm Augustin, Baron von (1730–94), Prussian soldier who helped train the Continental army.
Stevens, U.S. family of inventors and engineers.
Stevens, John Paul (1920– ), U.S. jurist.
Stevens, Thaddeus (1792–1868), militant member of the U.S.
Stevens, Wallace (1879–1955), U.S. poet.
Stevenson, family of U.S.
Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850–94), Scottish author, essayist, and poet who was one of the most successful writers of his day.
Steward, Julian Haynes (1902–72), U.S. anthropologist.
Stewart, James (1908–97), U.S. popular screen actor acclaimed for his sympathetic portrayals of the American common man.
Stewart, Potter (1915–85), associate justice of the U.S.
Stibnite See: Antimony.
Stickleback, small fish with spines on its back that lives in fresh and salt waters of the Northern Hemisphere.
Stickseed, North American wild plant belonging to the borage family.
Stieglitz, Alfred (1864–1946), U.S. photographer and founder of Photo-Secession (1902), an organization dedicated to the promotion of photography as a fine art.
Still, Clyfford (1904–80), one of the first abstract expressionist painters in the United States, known for his dramatic use of color.
Stillwater (pop. 12,290), historic city in Minnesota, located on the boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin and known as the “birthplace of Minnesota.” Founded in 1839, it was one of the earliest settlements in the state and the site of a convention that led to the formation of Minnesota territory.
Stilt, bird belonging to the stilt and avocet family, commonly found in warm pond areas throughout the world.
Stilwell, Joseph Warren (1883–1946), U.S. commander of the Allied forces in the Far East in World War II, sometimes referred to as “Vinegar Joe” because of his acerbic comments.
Stimson, Henry Lewis (1867–1950), U.S. politician, author of the Stimson Doctrine.
Stimulant, drug that stimulates an organ.
Stingray, one of 100 species of flat, disk-shaped fish belonging to the family Dasyatidae.
Stink bug, shield-shaped insect belonging to the stink bug family, known for the unpleasant odor it emits when disturbed.
Stirling engine, type of external-combustion engine invented in Scotland by the Rev.
Stoat See: Ermine.
Stock, group of about 50 varieties of fragrant garden flowers belonging to the family Cruciferae.
Stock, capital, ownership in a corporation.
Stock exchange, auction for the sale and exchange of stock, which is a certificate of ownership in a corporation. Stock markets exist in all major industrial states; stock market proceedings are published in most large daily newspapers. The price of each stock is determined each hour of the trading day, according to the laws of supply and demand. Factors that influence stock prices include the sta…
Stock market crash of 1929 See: Great Depression.
Stock ticker, teletype device for recording the buying and selling of stock.
Stockhausen, Karlheinz (1928– ), German composer and theorist.
Stockholm (pop. 693,100), capital of Sweden, located on a network of islands on the country's eastern coast.
Stockton, Richard (1730–81), member of the Continental Congress and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Stoicism, ancient Greek school of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium, who taught in a stoa (portico) in Athens c.300 B.C.
Stoke-on-Trent (pop. 252,900), city in England known for its pottery, located on the River Trent.
Stoker, Bram (1847–1912), British author who won notoriety for his book Dracula (1897), a tale of horror about a Transylvanian vampire with supernatural abilities.
Stokes, Carl Burton (1927– ), mayor of Cleveland (1967–71) and first African-American mayor of a large U.S. city.
Stokowski, Leopold (Boleslawowicz Stanislaw Antoni; 1882–1977), U.S. conductor.
Stol See: V/STOL.
Stomach, large organ of the digestive system.
Stone Age, stage of earliest human cultural development, preceding the Bronze Age and Iron Age.
Stone, Edward Durell (1902–78), U.S. architect whose works include the U.S. pavilion for the Brussels World's Fair (1958), the U.S.
Stone, Harlan Fiske (1872–1946), U.S. jurist.
Stone, Lucy (1818–93), U.S. reformer and feminist.
Stone Mountain, granite dome, 650 ft (198 m), near Atlanta, Ga.
Stone, Oliver (1946– ), U.S. film director and screenwriter.
Stone, Thomas (1743–87), Maryland lawyer and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Stonechat (Saxicola torquata), small bird of the thrush subfamily native to the Eastern Hemisphere, named for the percussive sound of its call.
Stonefly, any of approximately 1,550 species of insects of the order Plecoptera.
Stonehenge, ruins of a megalithic monument, dating from the Stone Age and early Bronze Age, on Salisbury Plain, in southern England.
Stoneware, durable kind of pottery with a variety of industrial and aesthetic applications.
Stoppard, Tom (1937– ), English playwright best known for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1966), an existentialist drama centering on 2 minor characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Storey, David (1933– ), English playwright and novelist.
Stork, large, heavily built bird, family Ciconiiodae, with long legs and neck, a long, stout bill, and usually black-and-white plumage.
Story, Joseph (1779–1845), associate Supreme Court justice (1812–45).
Storytelling, folk art practiced throughout the ages whose forms include the reciting of folk tales, myths, legends, epics, and fables.
Stoss, Veit (1440?–1533), influential German sculptor and wood carver who created dramatic, detailed religious statues in the late Gothic style.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher (1811–96), U.S. writer, author of the antislavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852).
Strabismus, condition in which the 2 eyes do not see the identical image simultaneously; usually one eye is directed in a slightly different direction from the other.
Strabo (63 B.C.?–A.D. 24?), ancient Greek geographer and historian known for his massive Geographical Sketches, a detailed description of the geography of the known world of his day.
Strachey, Lytton (1880–1932), English critic and biographer who belonged to the famed circle of artists and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury group in London.
Stradivari, or Stradivarius, Antonio (1644–1737), Italian violin maker, most famous of a group of fine craftspeople who worked in Cremona.
Strait, narrow water channel that joins 2 larger bodies of water, such as an ocean or a sea.
Strand, Paul (1890–1976), U.S. photographer whose work helped raise photography to an art.
Strasbourg (pop. 255,900), commercial and industrial city in northeastern France, famed for its Gothic cathedral.
Strassmann, Fritz (1902– ), German physical chemist who, with Otto Hahn, split the uranium atom (1938).
Strategic Air Command (SAC), main U.S. nuclear striking force, containing U.S. land-based ballistic missiles and long-range bombers.
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), negotiations between the United States and the USSR aimed at preventing the expansion of strategic weapons in both countries.
Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), controversial program developed by the U.S. government in 1983 to develop a space-based shield against nuclear missile attack.
Strategic Services, Office of (OSS), U.S. government organization founded during World War II (1942) to gather intelligence.
Stratemeyer, Edward (1862–1930), U.S. writer of popular children's literature.
Stratford-upon-Avon (pop. 104,600), market town in west-central England, home of William Shakespeare.
Stratosphere, layer of the atmosphere that extends upward from the tro-popause (upper level of the troposphere) to approximately 18 mi (29 km) above the earth's surface.
Stratus See: Cloud.
Straus, Oscar (1870–1954), Austrian composer of about 50 operettas, notably A Waltz Dream (1907; film, 1926) and The Chocolate Soldier (1908; film, 1941), performed internationally.
Strauss, Viennese composers, father and son.
Strauss, Levi (1829–1902), German-born U.S. clothing manufacturer, founder of Levi Strauss & Co. (1853).
Strauss, Richard (1864–1949), German composer and conductor, the last of the great Romantic composers.
Stravinsky, Igor (1882–1971), Russian-born U.S. composer.
Straw, dried stalks of several kinds of grain, including wheat, barley, oats, rye, and buckwheat.
Strawberry, fruit-bearing plant of the genus Fragaria, native to the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Strawflower, any of various tall annual plants, originally grown in Australia, particularly the Helichrysum bracteatum, which measures up to 3 ft (91 cm).
Stream of consciousness, literary technique in which a character's thoughts are presented in the jumbled, nonsequential manner of real life, apparently without the author imposing any order on them.
Streamlining, process of contouring a body to minimize its drag as it travels through a fluid, whether liquid or gas.
Streep, Meryl (Mary Louise Streep; 1949– ), U.S. actress.
Street, public road in a town or city.
Streetcar, passenger vehicle that rides on rails laid in the pavements of city streets.
Strep throat, infection affecting the throat and tonsils.
Streptococcus, any of a genus of bacteria responsible for many common infections, including sore throat, tonsilitis, scarlet fever, and other ailments.
Streptomycin, strong antibiotic acquired from a fungus that lives in soil.
Stress, in medicine, physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes tension, whether physical or mental, and may result in disease or malfunction.
Strike, cessation of work by a group of employees to achieve certain goals.
Strindberg, Johan August (1849–1912), Swedish playwright and novelist, widely considered the leading author in the Swedish language.
Stringed instruments, musical instruments whose sound is produced by vibrating strings or wires, the pitch being controlled by their length and tension.
Strip mining, technique used where ore deposits, such as coal, lie close enough to the surface to be uncovered merely by removal of the overlying material.
Stroessner, Alfredo (1912– ), president of Paraguay (1954–89).
Stroheim, Erich von (1885–1957), German-born U.S. film director.
Stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), sudden loss of some aspect of brain function due to lack of blood supply to a given area.
Stromboli, Italian island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off northeastern Sicily.
Strontium, chemical element, symbol Sr; for physical constants see Periodic Table.
Struve, Otto (1897–1963), U.S. astronomer.
Strychnine, poisonous alkaloid produced from the seeds of the Strychnos nux vomica tree, which grows in India, Sri Lanka, and Australia.
Stuart, Charles Edward (1720–88), pretender to the throne of England.
Stuart, Gilbert Charles (1755–1828), U.S. portrait painter, best known for the portrait of George Washington (1796) reproduced on the one-dollar bill.
Stuart, House of, royal family of Scotland (1371–1714)and England (1603–1714).
Stuart, James Ewell Brown ‘Jeb’ (1833–64), Confederate cavalry officer.
Studebaker, family name of 5 brothers (Clement, Harry, John Mohler, Peter Everst, and Jacob Franklin) whose company was the largest producer of horse-drawn wagons in the United States and was also a leading manufacturer of automobiles and trucks.
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), U.S. civil rights organization in the 1960s.
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), left-wing U.S. student organization founded in 1960 as the youth group of the Social Democratic organization of the League for Industrial Democracy.
Sturgeon, fish of the north temperate zone whose eggs are eaten as caviar.
Sturges, Preston (1898–1959), U.S. playwright, screenwriter, and film director.
Sturm und Drang (German, “storm and stress”), name given to a period of literary ferment in Germany (1770–84).
Stuttering, speech impairment characterized by repeated attempts to pronounce a syllable or word.
Stuttgart (pop. 583,700), capital of Baden-Württemberg, a state in southwest Germany. Stuttgart is a major governing, industrial, and cultural center in West Germany. Once the capital of the Württemberg kingdom, Stuttgart is situated on the Neckar River, in a rich farm and vineyard region. Besides producing wines and fruits, Stuttgart manufactures automobiles, machines, precision ins…
Stuyvesant, Peter (c.1610–72), Dutch director-general (1647–64) of New Netherland, Holland's North American colony, which included the city of New Amsterdam, later renamed New York.
Sty, infection in an eyelash follicle or in a gland in the eyelid.
Styron, William (1925– ), U.S. novelist and winner of the 1968 Pulitzer Prize for The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), a first-person novelization of an 1831 slave rebellion.
Styx, in Greek mythology, river of the underworld.
Suárez, Francisco (1548–1617), Spanish Jesuit philosopher who represented a late flowering of Scholasticism.
Sublimation, in chemistry, act of changing a solid into a gas, or a gas into a solid, without going through a liquid stage.
Submarine, ship capable of sustained underwater operation. The first working craft, built by the Dutch inventor Cornelis Drebbel (1620), was a wooden rowboat covered with greased leather that could remain submerged for as long as 15 hours. The first submarine used in warfare, designed by David Bushnell of the United States (1776), was a one-man, hand-powered, screwdriven vessel designed to attach …
Suburb, community that lies on the outskirts of a city.
Subway, underground railroad system designed for urban and suburban passenger transport. The first subway, known as the Underground, was built in London (1860–63) and used steam trains. From 1886 to 1890 a 3-mile section of the London subway was built using a large, cylindrical steel tube (developed by J.H. Greathead) that was forced forward through the earth by hydraulic jacks; tunnel wall…
Succession wars, conflicts that result from disagreements about who should inherit a throne, or who should succeed a monarch.
Succot See: Sukkot.
Succulent, category of plants whose leaves or stems are covered with a waxy substance that reduces water loss and enables them to live in arid regions.
Sucker, any of various freshwater fishes (family Catostomidae) related to the minnows.
Suckling, Sir John (1609–42), poet and playwright.
Sucre (pop. 88,800), city in central Bolivia, founded as La Plata in 1538 and renamed for Antonio José de Sucre in 1839.
Sucre, Antonio José de (1795–1830), important leader in Latin American wars against Spanish rule and first president of Bolivia (1826–28). Born in Venezuela, he joined the revolutionary army at age 15 and soon displayed great military skills. He gained the respect of the Venezuelan leader of the Latin American revolution, Simón Bolívar, who made him a general. In…
Sucrose, white, crystalline disaccharide carbohydrate (C12H22O11) commercially obtained from sugar beet, sugarcane, and sweet sorghum.
Sudan, Republic of the Sudan, largest country in Africa, located in the northeast of the continent. Sudan occupies 967,494 sq mi (2,505,813 sq km) and is bounded on the north by Egypt; on the west by Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic, and Zaire; on the south by Uganda and Kenya; and on the east by Ethiopia and Eritrea. It has a 400-mi (644-km) coastline on the Red Sea. Sudan may be divided…
Sudan grass (Sorghum vulgare, variety Sudanese), hay plant in the grass family.
Sudbury (pop. 88,700), city in Ontario, Canada.
Sudden infant death syndrome, sudden, unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant, also known as SIDS, crib death, or cot death.
Sudetenland, region in the north of the Czech Republic.
Suez (pop. 376,000), city in Egypt located at the top of the Gulf of Suez.
Suez Canal, canal in Egypt linking the Gulf of Suez (an arm of the Red Sea) to the eastern Mediterranean.
Suffrage See: Woman suffrage.
Sufism, Muslim mystical philosophical and literary movement dating from the 10th and 11th centuries.
Sugar, sweet, soluble compound of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
Sugar beet, plant (Beta vulgaris) whose swollen root provides almost half the world's sugar.
Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum), tall plant of the grass family.
Sugar maple See: Maple.
Suharto (1921– ), Indonesian statesman, president 1968–98.
Sui dynasty, dynasty (ruling family) that governed China from A.D. 581–618.
Suicide, act of voluntarily taking one's own life.
Suite, musical form developed in Germany and France in the 17th and 18th centuries, originally inspired by dance.
Sukarno (1901–70), first president of independent Indonesia (1945–65).
Sukkot, or Feast of Tabernacles, 8-day autumn Jewish festival, during which meals are taken in a hut (sukkah) roofed with branches and fruits to symbolize the shelters used by the ancient Hebrews during their wanderings after the Exodus from Egypt.
Suleiman I, or Sulayman (1494–1566), sultan of Ottoman Empire from 1520–1566.
Sulfa drug, any of various synthetic compounds derived from sulfanilimide that inhibit the multiplication of invading bacteria, thus allowing the body's cellular defense mechanisms to suppress infection.
Sulfate, chemical mixture containing sulfur and oxygen.
Sulfide, compound of sulfur and another element or elements.
Sulfur, chemical element, symbol S; for physical constants see Periodic Table. Sulfur has been known and used for thousands of years. It is referred to in the bible as brimstone. As a mineral, it occurs in iron pyrites, galena, sphalerite, Epsom salts, barite, and many others. It occurs free in nature in the vicinity of volcanoes and hot springs. Sulfur is also found in the atmosphere of Venus and…
Sulfur dioxide (SO2), colorless, poisonous gas that has a sharp smell.
Sulfuric acid, chemical compound (H2SO4) that is a colorless, oily liquid that corrodes materials.
Sulgrave Manor, home of the ancestors of George Washington, first President of the United States.
Sulla, Lucius Cornelius (138–78 B.C.), Roman general and ruler.
Sullivan, Anne (1866–1936), U.S. teacher of Helen Keller.
Sullivan, Harry Stack (1892–1949), U.S. psychiatrist and head of William Alanson White Institute and Washington School of Psychiatry, who contributed to the study of schizophrenia and originated the idea that psychiatry depends on study of culture and its influence on behavior.
Sullivan, John L., U.S. boxing champion.
Sullivan, Leon Howard (1922– ), Baptist minister whose numerous projects have improved economic opportunities for African Americans. Acting on his belief that unemployment was a major reason for crime, he initiated a 1959 boycott of Philadelphia firms that did not hire African Americans. After 3 years, these companies made jobs available to African Americans. In 1964 Sullivan founded a cent…
Sullivan, Louis Henri (1856–1924), U.S. architect whose office buildings pioneered modern design.
Sullivan, Sir Arthur Seymour (1842–1900), English composer.
Sully-Prudhomme, René François Armand , (1839–1907), French Parnassian poet, winner of the first Nobel Prize in literature, in 1901.
Sully, Thomas (1783–1872), English-born U.S. portrait painter who studied briefly under Gilbert Stuart.
Sulphur See: Sulfur.
Sulu Sea, also known as the Sea of Mindoro, sea located between Borneo and the Philippine Islands.
Sulzberger, name of 2 publishers of The New York Times.
Sumac, common name for trees, shrubs, and vines (genus Rhus) with resinous, sometimes bitter sap.
Sumatra, second-largest island of Indonesia, about 183,000 sq mi (473,970 sq km) in area.
Sumer, southern region of ancient Mesopotamia (presently southern Iraq).
Sumner, Charles (1811–74), U.S. political leader and opponent of slavery.
Sumter, Thomas (1734–1832), partisan of the American Revolution who formed a guerrilla band and harassed the British in the Carolina campaign (1780–81).
Sun, star at the center of our Solar System, a luminous sphere of gas about 865,000 mi (1.4 million km) in diameter and 93 million mi (150 million km) from earth.
Sun dance, religious ceremony observed by a number of Plains tribes of Native Americans during the summer.
Sun Valley, resort area in south-central Idaho, in the Sawtooth Mountains on the Big Wood River.
Sun worship, reverence for the sun, as for a god or goddess.
Sun Yat-sen (1866–1925), Chinese political leader, regarded as the “father of modern China.” Born in the Guangdong province, he spent most of his youth in Hawaii, where he learned about Western thought and politics. He then studied medicine in Hong Kong, becoming a doctor in 1892. In 1894 Sun founded a political group and attempted his first revolution against the Manchu dynas…
Sunbelt and Frostbelt, popular terms designating, respectively, the southern tier of states stretching from North Carolina to California and the states of the Northeast and Midwest.
Sunbird, any of approximately 115 species of songbirds in the sunbird family.
Sunburn, burning effect on the skin caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Sunday, Billy (William Ashley Sunday; 1862–1935), U.S. revivalist preacher noted for his flamboyance and his vivid version of fundamentalist theology.
Sundew, any plant in the sundew family.
Sundial, ancient type of clock, consisting of a stylus (called a gnomon) parallel to the earth's axis that casts a shadow on a calibrated dial plate, which may be horizontal or vertical.
Sunfish, popular fresh water sports fish of the bass family, found in North America.
Sunflower, any of various tall plants (genus Helianthus) with large, disk-shaped yellow and brown flowers that twist to face the sun.
Sunflower State See: Kansas.
Sung dynasty See: Song dynasty.
Sunni, followers of the majority branch of Islam, as distinct from the Shi'te.
Sunset laws, U.S. laws that require regular periodic review of government agencies.
Sunshine laws, U.S. laws that require government agencies to permit the public to attend their meetings.
Sunshine State See: Florida; South Dakota.
Sunspot, apparent dark spot on the surface of the sun.
Sunstroke, or heatstroke, rise in body temperature and deficiency of sweating in hot climates, often following exertion.
Superconductivity, complete disappearance of resistance to electricity in a wire or other electric circuit, which allows a current to continue without any driving voltage.
Superego, term coined by Sigmund Freud meaning the mostly subconscious dimension of personality that represents moral and cultural standards established by society.
Superman See: Nietzsche, Friedrich.
Supernova, exploding star that may increase in brightness by as much as a billion times its original state in just a few days, after which it gradually fades back to less than its original brightness.
Superstition, belief or practice that is not based on reason.
Supply and demand, in economics, central concepts that explain changes in prices, production, and consumption of goods and services.
Supply-side economics, theory of economic management that focuses on stimulating production through tax reduction, which is intended to inspire increased investment in business, leading to higher employment.
Suprematism, art movement (1913–19) originated by the Russian-Polish painter Kasimir Malevich (1878–1935), establishing a system of nonrepresentational composition in terms of pure geometric shapes and patterns.
Supreme Court of the United States, highest court of the United States, with the authority to adjudicate all cases arising under U.S. law, including treaties and constitutional matters. The number of justices is set by statute and so has varied; since 1869 the Court has comprised a chief justice and 8 associate justices, appointed for life by the president as vacancies arise. Nominees must be conf…
Surabaya, or Surakaja (pop. 2,473,300), city in Indonesia, located on the northeastern coast of Java at the mouth of the Mas River.
Surface tension, property that makes the surface of a liquid act as if it were an elastic film.
Surfing, sport of riding a wooden or foam plastic surfboard on the incline of a wave.
Surgeon general of the United States, chief medical adviser of the United States.
Surgery, branch of medicine chiefly concerned with manual operations to remove or repair diseased, damaged, or deformed body tissues.
Suriname, republic on the northeastern coast of South America, bordered by Guyana on the west, Brazil on the south, and French Guiana on the east. The capital is Paramaribo. The country consists largely of unexplored forested highlands and the flat Atlantic coast. The climate is tropical, with heavy rains. The population is about 34% East Indian, 35% Creole, and 16% Indonesian…
Surratt, Mary Eugenia (1820–65), boardinghouse keeper in Washington, D.C., unjustly hanged for complicity in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Surrealism, movement in literature and art that flourished between World War I and World War II, especially in Paris; influenced by Freudianism.
Surrey, Earl of (1517?–47), English poet.
Surveying, process of measuring distances and features on the earth's surface for map preparation and locating boundary lines.
Susa (also called Shush), capital of the ancient Middle East country of Elam and later of the Persian Empire.
Suslov, Mikhail Andreyevich (1902–82), Communist Party official in the USSR.
Suspension, in chemistry, mixture in which solid particles hang in a liquid or gas.
Suspension bridge See: Bridge.
Susquehanna River, river in the eastern United States, rising in Otsego Lake in central New York state and flowing southward 444 mi (715 km) across Pennsylvania and Maryland, emptying into Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.
Sussex spaniel, strong, short, stocky dog originally bred in Sussex, England.
Sutherland, Dame Joan (1926– ), Australian soprano, one of the foremost exponents of the art of bel canto.
Suva (pop. 71,600), capital of Fiji, a country made up of more than 800 islands in the South Pacific.
Suwannee River, river rising in the Okefenokee swamp of southeastern Georgia and flowing 250 mi (400 km) generally south through Florida to the Gulf of Mexico.
Suzuki method, style of musical instruction begun in the 1940s to teach very young children to play musical instruments.
Svalbard, or Spitsbergen, island group in the Arctic Ocean 400 mi (640 km) north of Norway and officially belonging to that country since 1920.
Svedberg, Theodor (1884–71), Swedish chemist awarded the 1926 Nobel Prize in chemistry for inventing the ultracentrifuge, important in studies of colloids and large molecules.
Sverdlovsk (nowadays Ekaterinburg; pop. 1,367,000), industrial city in the eastern Ural Mountains of Russia.
Swahili, Bantu language of East Africa, widely spoken in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and parts of Zaire.
Swallow, common name for various small birds of the family Hirundinidae.
Swammerdam, Jan (1637–80), Dutch entomologist, zoologist, and anatomist, who made major contributions to research on insect metamorphosis, life cycles, and anatomy.
Swamp, area of poorly drained, low-lying land saturated with water.
Swan, any of various large, long-necked aquatic birds related to ducks and geese.
Swanscombe man, prehistoric human dating back to the Second Inter-glacial Period about 350,000 years ago.
Swansea (pop. 188,000), industrial seaport in Wales, originally settled in the 1000s.
Swastika, ancient symbol of well-being and prosperity employed by such diverse peoples as Greeks, Celts, Native Americans, and the Hindus of India, where it apparently arose.
Swaziland, country in southeastern Africa, bordered by Mozambique on the east and the Republic of South Africa on the other three sides. The capital is Mbabane. There are three main regions: the mountainous High Veld in the west, the lower Middle Veld, and the Low Veld rising in the east to the narrow Lebombo range. The four major rivers, running west to east, are being developed for irrigation an…
Sweat gland See: Perspiration.
Sweatshop, place of work with long hours, poor pay, and bad conditions.
Sweden, kingdom in northern Europe, occupying most of the eastern and southern portion of the Scandinavian peninsula. Sweden has an area of 173,604 sq mi (449,750 sq km). It is bounded on the west and north by Norway; on the northeast by Finland; on the east and south by the Baltic Sea; and on the southwest by the Öresund, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, the narrows linking the Baltic with the Nor…
Swedenborgians, followers of the religious ideas of the Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772).
Swedish, one of the North Germanic or Scandinavian languages, spoken by about 9 million people in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, the United States, and Canada.