Sweet alyssum, vigorous, low-growing perennial herb (Lobularia maritima) of the mustard family, originating in the Mediterranean area.
21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Sweet alyssum to Texas fever
Sweet flag, tall, straight, perennial marsh herb (Acorus calamus) of the arum family, growing in moist areas near streams and ponds.
Sweet gum, any of various tall shade trees (genus Liquidambar) of the hazel family named for the sweet-smelling gummy substance they produce, called storax.
Sweet pea, fragrant, annual garden plant (Lathyrus odoratus) native to Italy and thriving in numerous temperate countries where there is rich soil and abundant sunshine.
Sweet potato, trailing creeper plant (Ipomoea batatas) of the morning glory family, native to tropical America.
Sweet William, Eurasian pink biennial (Dianthus barbatus), also known as Newport pink.
Sweetbrier See: Eglantine.
Swift, any of several highly mobile, small, insect-eating lizards (genus Sceloporus) found in dry temperate regions of the United States, Mexico, and Central America.
Swift, small, fast-flying insectivorous bird, similar to a swallow but classed with the hummingbirds in the order Apodiformes.
Swift, Gustavus Franklin (1839–1903), U.S. businessperson.
Swift, Jonathan (1667–1745), Anglo-Irish writer, journalist, poet, and prose satirist.
Swigert, John Leonard, Jr. (1931–82), U.S. astronaut who participated in the 1970 Apollo 13 moon mission, which was aborted in space after life-support systems failed.
Swimming and diving, popular water sports. Common swimming styles include the side stroke, a simple sidewise propulsion for distance swimming and lifesaving; the breaststroke, a froglike arm-and-leg thrust; backstroke, either overarm or, for distance endurance, an inverted breaststroke; and the crawl, the most common freestyle form, using an overarm pull and a flutter kick. The butterfly, a modifi…
Swinburne, Algernon Charles (1837–1909), English poet and literary critic.
Swing See: Jazz.
Swiss chard, green leafy vegetable (Beta vulgaris cicla) similar to the beet but with an inedible root.
Swiss Family Robinson See: Wyss family.
Swiss Guard, member of the Swiss mercenary soldiers who served in various European armies from the 15th to the 19th centuries, most notably as bodyguards to the French monarch (1497–1792 and 1814–30).
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, federal republic situated in the Alps in central Europe. Switzerland covers 15,943 sq mi (41,293 sq km). It is bounded by Germany on the north, Austria and Liechtenstein on the east, Italy on the south, and France on the west. Lying almost entirely within the western Alps, Switzerland has three main regions: the Jura Mountains of the western Alps, t…
Sword, ancient weapon consisting of a handle and a metal blade with a sharp point and one or two cutting edges.
Swordfish, or broadbill, large, streamlined food and game fish (Xiphias gladius) of tropical seas, having a swordlike upper jaw.
Sycamore, popular name for a number of deciduous trees.
Sydenham, Thomas (1624–89), English physician, considered a founder of modern medicine.
Sydney (pop. 3,656,500), oldest and largest city in Australia, capital of New South Wales, in southeastern Australia on the Port Jackson inlet of the Pacific Ocean.
Syllogism, in logic, term for a form of argument consisting of 3 statements: 2 premises and a conclusion.
Sylvester I, Saint (d.335), pope who reigned from 314 to 335.
Sylvester II (940–1003), first Frenchman to serve as pope (999–1003), known for his learning, his close links to the Holy Roman emperor Otto III, and his support of the Christianization of Poland and Hungary.
Symbiosis, also called mutualism, relationship between 2 dependent organisms of different species in which mutual benefit is derived by both participants.
Symbolism, in literature, movement begun by a group of French poets in the late 19th century in opposition to naturalism.
Symphonic poem, or tone poem, form of orchestral music in one movement that describes a story or scene.
Symphony, major form of music for orchestra.
Synagogue (Greek, “house of assembly”), Jewish place of worship.
Synchro-cyclotron, cylindrical-shaped particle accelerator designed to accelerate protons.
Synchrotron, type of particle accelerator in which a doughnut-shaped ring of magnets around a vacuum produces a magnetic field that rises in intensity as the accelerated protons rise in velocity.
Syndicalism (French: syndicate, “labor union”), revolutionary labor movement that aimed at seizing control of industry through strikes, sabotage, even violence, and, as its ultimate weapon, the general strike.
Synge, John Millington (1871–1909), Irish poet and playwright.
Synoptic Gospels, in the New Testament, comprehensive view of the life of Jesus according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, which contain a high level of agreement on subject matter and phraseology.
Synthesizer, electronic musical device able to produce and change the timbre, quality, and frequency of sounds generated.
Synthetic, substance created by chemical processing and used as a substitute for naturally occurring substances.
Synthetic fuels, combustible matter that can replace crude oil and natural gas.
Syphilis, highly contagious venereal disease, caused by a spirochete, Treponema pallidum, and characterized by a variety of lesions (chancres, mucous patches, and skin ulcers) at the point of infection.
Syracuse (pop. 659,864), city in central New York, seat of Onondaga County, situated on Onondaga Lake.
Syracuse, city in southeastern Sicily, on the Ionian Sea.
Syria, Arab republic in southwest Asia. Syria covers about 71,498 sq mi (185,180 sq km) and is bounded by Turkey on the north, Iraq on the east and southeast, Jordan and Israel on the south, and Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea on the west. Syria has a 100-mi (161-km)-long coastline on the Mediterranean. The coastal plain is separated from the inland reaches by a coast range, the Jebel Ansariya, …
Syriac, Aramaic language of the northwestern Semitic group.
Syrian Desert, triangular desert plateau covering much of the Arabian Peninsula, including portions of present-day Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq.
Syringa See: Mock orange.
Systems analysis, method of studying the interactions of humans, machines, and other elements engaged in activity through the creation of mathematical models.
Systolic pressure See: Blood pressure.
Szczecin (German: Stettin; pop. 416,400), city in northwestern Poland, capital of Szczecin province, on the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the Oder River.
Szell, George (1897–1970), Hungarian-born U.S. conductor.
Szent-Györgyi, Albert (1893–1966), Hungarian-born U.S. biochemist awarded the 1937 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his work on biological oxidation processes and his discovery of ascorbic acid in the adrenal glands.
Szilard, Leo (1898–1964), Hungarian-born U.S. physicist who helped pioneer the U.S. atomic bomb project.
Szold, Henrietta (1860–1945), founder (1912) of the Women's Zionist Organization of America (Hadassah).
T, 20th letter in the English alphabet, corresponding with the Semitic letter taw, meaning “mark,” it is represented by an upright cross and is probably derived from an ancient Egyptian symbol for a check mark.
Tabasco, southwestern state in Mexico on the Bay of Campeche of the Gulf of Mexico.
Tabernacle, portable temple carried by the Israelis during their nomadic period.
Tabernacles, Feast of See: Sukkot.
Table tennis, or ping-pong, indoor game played with a ball, rackets (“paddles”), and a net, a miniature version of tennis.
Taboo, or tabu, prohibition linked to an object, place, or person by law or social custom.
Tabriz (pop. 971,500), city in northwestern Iran, capital of East Azerbaijan province, on the Aji Chai (Talkheh) River.
Tabularium, library of ancient Rome, used to store records.
Taché, Sir Étienne-Paschal (1795–1865), Canadian politician.
Tachometer, instrument that measures the speed at which a wheel or shaft spins.
Tachycardia, abnormally fast heartrate.
Tachyon, subatomic particles that in theory move faster than the speed of light.
Tacitus, Cornelius (c.A.D.55–120), Roman historian.
Tacoma (pop. 158,501), port and industrial city of Washington State, on Puget Sound, about 25 mi (40 km) south of Seattle.
Taconite, rock containing about 30% iron ore, from which iron is made.
Tadpole, or polliwog, larval amphibian hatched from transparent, jellylike eggs laid on the water.
Tadzhikistan See: Tajikistan.
Taft-Hartley Act, the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, sponsored by Senator Robert A.
Taft, Robert Alphonso (1889–1953), U.S. senator from Ohio (1938–53).
Taft, William Howard (1909–13), 27th president of the United States. Taft was an imposing figure—he stood 6 ft tall and weighed more than 300 lbs. A good-natured, self-effacing man, he had the misfortune to follow the flamboyant Theodore Roosevelt in office—and suffered in the comparison. In his own time, Taft was judged one of the weakest of U.S. presidents, yet the achieveme…
Taglioni, Marie (1804–84), Swedish-born Italian ballerina.
Tagore, Sir Rabindranath (1861–1941), Bengali Indian writer, painter, musician, and mystic who founded what is now Visva-Bharati University to blend the best in Indian and Western culture.
Tagus River, or Tajo River, river that runs 626 mi (1,007 km) from central eastern Spain west through Portugal to the Atlantic Ocean.
Tahiti, largest (400 sq mi/1,036 sq km) of the Society Islands in the South Pacific, the center of French Polynesia.
Taine, Hippolyte Adolphe (1828–93), French writer and intellectual concerned with aesthetics—the nature of art and artistic judgments.
Taipei (pop. 2,696,100), capital and largest city of Taiwan, lying to the north on the Tanshui River.
Taiwan, formerly Formosa, island in the western Pacific Ocean, formally Republic of China. Together with the Pescadores, Quemoy, and Matsu groups, it is the official seat of the Republic of China government, which claims to be the legal ruler of all China. Taiwan is separated from mainland China by the Formosa Strait, about 90 mi (145 km) wide. The capital is Taipei. With an area of 13,900 sq mi (…
Taj Mahal, mausoleum built by the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz-i-Mahal at Agra in North India.
Tajikistan (Republic of), also Tadzhikistan, independent country in Central Asia, bordering China (east), Afghanistan (south), Kirghizstan (north), and Uzbekistan (west). Its capital is Dushanbe. Tajikistan is the smallest of the five Central Asian republics (55,300 sq mi; 143,000 sq km). The country is very mountainous, and has a continental climate. Most of its inhabitants are Tajiks (62%…
Takeshita, Noboru (1924– ), Japanese politician, prime minister 1987–89.
Talbotype, or calotype, early photographic process invented by the English scientist W.H.
Talc, [Mg3Si4O10(OH)2], hydrous magnesium silicate mineral occurring in metamorphic rocks, chiefly in the United States, USSR, France, and Japan.
Tallahassee (pop. 119,000), capital of Florida, located in the panhandle just south of the Georgia border.
Tallchief, Maria (1925– ), U.S. ballet dancer, of Native American and European ancestry.
Talleyrand (Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord; 1754–1838), French politician.
Tallinn (pop. 452,000), capital city of Estonia, on the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea.
Tallowtree, any of several trees of the family Euphorbiaceae producing a waxy substance that can be used to produce tallow for candles.
Talmud (Hebrew, “teaching”), compilation of Jewish oral law and rabbinical teachings begun in the 5th century A.D.
Tamarack See: Larch.
Tamarin, one of 14 monkey species belonging to the tamarin and marmoset family, native to the rain forests of Central and South America.
Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), tropical tree belonging to the pea family.
Tambourine, percussion instrument comprising a skin stretched across a hoop fitted with bells, or “jingles,” that rattle as it is tapped or shaken.
Tamerlane, or Timur the Lame (c. 1336–1405), Mongol conqueror, descendant of Genghis Khan.
Tamil, Dravidian language spoken by some 40 million people, principally in southeast India and northeast Sri Lanka.
Tammany, Society of, or the Columbian Order, New York City Democratic political organization. Founded in 1789 as a “fraternity of patriots” dedicated to preserving the nation's independence, it evolved into the most powerful political machine in New York City's Democratic party. Tammany Hall, as it came to be known, drew much of its strength from newly arrived immigrant…
Tampa (pop. 285,300), city in Florida, at the head of Tampa Bay, an arm of the Gulf of Mexico.
Tanaka, Kakuei (1918–93), Japanese prime minister (1972–74).
Taney, Roger Brooke (1777–1864), chief justice of the U.S.
Tang dynasty, rulers of China from A.D. 618 to 907.
Tangelo, citrus fruit produced by crossing a tangerine with a grapefruit.
Tangerine, fruit in the rue family, related to the orange.
Tangier (pop. 554,000), seaport and residential and commercial city of Morocco, facing the Strait of Gibraltar.
Tank, combat vehicle, armed with guns or missiles, and self-propelled on caterpillar treads; the chief modern conventional ground assault weapon.
Tanker, ship designed to carry liquid cargo in bulk, notably crude oil, gasoline, or natural gas.
Tannhäuser (c. 1200–70), German poet and legendary character who wrote poems that were sung.
Tannic acid, or tannin (C76H52O46), organic substance extracted from the bark of certain trees (e.g., oak, hemlock, and chestnut).
Tantalum, chemical element, symbol Ta; for physical constants see Periodic Table.
Tantalus, in Greek mythology, king of Lydia and son of Zeus and the nymph Pluto.
Tanzania, independent republic in East Africa consisting of the mainland, formerly Tanganyika, and the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. The mainland of Tanzania has Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia to its south; Zaïre, Burundi, and Rwanda to the west; Uganda and Kenya on the north; and the Indian Ocean to the east. Zanzibar and Pemba are separated from the mainland by the 22-mi- (35-km)-wide Za…
Tanzanite, zoisite mineral and semiprecious gem unearthed in Tanzania (1967).
Tao Te Ching See: Taoism.
Taoism, or Daoism (from Chinese tao or dao, “the way”), philosophy that originated in China (c.300 B.C.); also, a religion that had its beginnings c.100 B.C.
Taos (pop. 3,369), historically significant city in New Mexico, located at the base of the southern Rocky Mountains, 75 mi (121 km) north of Santa Fe.
Tape recorder, instrument for sound recording on magnetic tape and subsequent playback.
Tapestry, fabric woven with colored threads to form a design and used to cover walls and furniture.
Tapeworm, any of numerous flatworms (class Cestodd) that live as parasites in the intestines of humans and other animals.
Tar, thick, dark, viscous liquid obtained through distillation of organic matter, primarily coal, petroleum products, and wood.
Tarabulus See: Tripoli.
Tarantula, popular name, originally of the large wolf spider (Lycosa tarantula), but now used for various unrelated giant spiders throughout the world.
Tarascan, Native American tribe of Mexico.
Tarbell, Ida Minerva (1857–1944), U.S. author and reformer.
Tariff, customs duty on an export or, more commonly, an import. The aim is generally to protect home industries from foreign competition, though it may be merely to provide revenue. During the 17th and 18th centuries the European powers created tariff systems that gave their colonies preferential treatment, but Britain's tariffs, by limiting North America's trade, helped provoke the …
Tarkenton, Fran (Francis Asbury Tarkenton; 1940– ), U.S. football player.
Tarkington, (Newton) Booth (1869–1946), U.S. writer noted for novels reflecting midwestern life and character, for example, Penrod (1914).
Taro, plant (Colocasia esculenta) of the arum family whose rhizomes provide a starch food for millions of people in eastern Asia and the Pacific.
Tarot, pack of 78 playing cards used mainly for fortune-telling.
Tarpon (Tarpon atlanticus), game fish that can survive in salt or fresh water.
Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), plant whose aromatic leaves provide a pleasant characteristic flavor to various meats, vegetables, sauces, and stuffings.
Tarsus (pop. 146,500), city in central Turkey on the Mediterranean coast.
Tartan, checkered fabric of Scotland's native dress.
Tartaric acid (C4H6O6), naturally derived plant acid, used extensively for making jellies, jams, and carbonated drinks.
Tartars, or Tatars, people of Turkish descent who live in the Russian Federation, Bulgaria, Romania, China, and Turkey.
Tartu (German: Dorpat), city in eastern Estonia, lying on the Emajogi River.
Tashkent (pop. 2,000,000), capital of Uzbekistan, located in Chirchik Valley west of the Chatkal Mountains.
Tasman Sea, arm of the South Pacific Ocean, between Australia and Tasmania (east) and New Zealand (west).
Tasmania, smallest Australian state (26,383 sq mi/68,332 sq km).
Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisi), mammal of the marsupial family, native to the Australian island of Tasmania.
TASS (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union), state news agency of the former USSR.
Taste, special sense concerned with the differentiation of basic modalities of food or other substances in the mouth; receptors are distributed over the surface of the tongue and are able to distinguish sweet (generally at tip), sour, salt (along the sides), bitter (mainly at the back), and possibly water as primary tastes.
Tate, (John Orley) Allen (1899–1979), U.S. writer, critic, and teacher.
Tatum, Art (1910–56), U.S. jazz pianist.
Tatum, Edward Lawrie (1909–75), U.S. biochemist awarded the 1958 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine, with G.W.
Taube, Henry (1916– ), Canadian-born U.S. chemist who won the 1983 Nobel Prize for chemistry for his work in the mechanisms of electron transfer reactions, especially in metal complexes.
Taussig, Helen Brooke (1898–1986), U.S. pediatrician and cardiologist.
Tautog See: Blackfish.
Tawney, Richard Henry (1880–1962), English historian and social theorist.
Taxation, raising of revenue to pay for government expenditure.
Taxation without representation See: Revolutionary War in America.
Taxco (pop. 27,100), town in Mexico, 70, mi (113 km) southwest of Mexico City.
Taxidermy, stuffing and mounting animal skins to make lifelike replicas.
Taxonomy See: Classification.
Tay-Sachs disease, inherited disorder that occurs primarily in Jewish people from eastern Europe.
Taylor, Elizabeth (1932– ), English-born U.S. film actress.
Taylor, George (1716–81), Irish-born member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Taylor, John (1753–1824), U.S. political theorist and agricultural reformer, known as John Taylor of Caroline.
Taylor, Lawrence (1959– ), U.S. football player.
Taylor, Maxwell Davenport (1901–87), U.S.
Taylor, Paul (1930– ), U.S. modern dance choreographer.
Taylor, Zachary (1784–1850), war hero and 12th president of the United States. Taylor was a bold and resourceful general in the Mexican War and one of the most popular presidents of the period. His brief term in office—he died 16 months into his term—has been all but forgotten. However, he took a bold stand on the extension of slavery, the burning issue of his day, and—…
TB See: Tuberculosis.
Tbilisi, or Tiflis (pop. 1,268,000), capital city of the Republic of Georgia, situated on the Kura River south of the Caucasus Mountains.
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilich (1840–93), Russian composer.
Te Kanawa, Dame Kiri (1944– ), New Zealand operatic soprano.
Tea (Camillia sinensis), evergreen shrub, related to the camellia; also, the leaves of the plant and the beverage made from the leaves.
Teach, Edward See: Blackbeard.
Teaching, range of activities used to demonstrate skills, impart information, and guide individuals in learning. Informal teaching, which takes place in any setting and without any requisite structure, may come from parents, employers, colleagues, or other persons. Formal teaching generally occurs in a structured setting and is administered by professional teachers. In the United States since the …
Teak (Tectona grandis), deciduous tree whose wood is among the most valuable.
Teal, name for various species of river ducks (genus Anas) related to the mallard.
Teamsters Union (International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America), largest U.S. labor union, whose members are largely truckers.
Teapot Dome, scandal over government malpractice under President Warren G.
Tears, watery secretions of the lacrimal glands situated over the eyes, which provide continuous lubrication and protection of cornea and sclera.
Teasel, or teazel (Dipsacus fullonum), European plant found in fields in North America.
Tebaldi, Renata (1922– ), Italian operatic soprano.
Technetium, chemical element, symbol Tc; for physical constants see Periodic Table.
Technology, application of science to practical human ends—particularly, to increase productivity and the availability of leisure and to improve the quality of life. Although technology includes developments since ancient times, such as occurred in the metallurgy involved in tool making, the term generally refers to industrial technology of the past 200 years. In agriculture, technology has…
Tectonics, branch in geology that studies the earth's structural deformations, the forces involved, and the resulting forms.
Tecumseh (1768?–1813), Shawnee chief.
Teeth, specialized hard structure used for biting and chewing food. The number of teeth varies from species to species and from age to age, but in most cases an immature set of teeth (milk teeth) is replaced during growth by a permanent set. In humans the latter consists of 32 teeth, comprising 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars or bicuspids, and 12 molars, of which the rearmost are the late-erupt…
Tegu, or Teju, bold, quick and muscular South American lizard (genus Tupinambis).
Tegucigalpa (pop. 678,000), capital and largest city of Honduras, situated on the Choluteca River and on the slopes of Mt.
Teheran Conference, inter-Allied conference of World War II, held in Teheran (Nov.-Dec. 1943) and attended by Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, U.S. president Franklin D.
Teheran, or Tehran (pop. 5,734,000), capital and largest city of Iran.
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1881–1955), French Jesuit, philosopher, and paleontologist.
Teju See: Tegu.
Tel Aviv-Jaffa (pop. 353,200), second-largest city in Israel, on the Mediterranean coast northwest of Jerusalem.
Telegraph, electrical apparatus for sending coded messages. The term was first applied in the 18th century to Claude Chappe's semaphore. Experiments began on electric telegraphs after the discovery (1819) that a magnetic needle was deflected by a current in a nearby wire. In 1837 W.F. Cooke and Charles Wheatstone patented a system using six wires and five pointers that moved in pairs to ind…
Telegraph plant (Desmodium motorium), plant of the pea family, native to tropical Asia.
Telemann, Georg Philipp (1681–1767), German composer.
Teleology (from Greek telos, “end”), study of an action, event, or thing with reference to it's purpose or end.
Telephone, apparatus for transmission and reproduction of sound by means of frequency electric waves. The telephone was invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell. Bell's transmitter worked by the voltage induced in a coil by a piece of iron attached to a vibrating diaphragm; the same apparatus, working in reverse, was used as a receiver. The carbon microphone (invented by Thomas Edison, 187…
Telescope, instrument used to detect or examine distant objects. It consists of a series of lenses and mirrors capable of producing a magnified image and of collecting more light than the unaided eye. The refracting telescope (refractor) essentially consists of a tube with a lens system at each end. Light from a distant object first strikes the objective lens, which produces an inverted image at i…
Television, communication of moving pictures between distant points over wire or by means of electromagnetic waves. In television broadcasting, centrally prepared programs are transmitted to millions of individual receivers. Closed-circuit transmissions, which rely upon signals carried over wire rather than electromagnetic waves broadcast at large, are most often used for industrial and educationa…
Tell, William, legendary 14th-century Swiss hero.
Teller, Edward (1908– ), Hungarian-born U.S. nuclear physicist who worked with Enrico Fermi on nuclear fission at the start of the Manhattan Project, but is best known for his fundamental work on, and advocacy of, the hydrogen bomb.
Tellurium, chemical element, symbol Te; for physical constants see Periodic Table.
Telstar, U.S. artificial satellite, launched July 10, 1962.
Temperature, degree of hotness or coldness, as measured quantitatively by thermometers. The various scales used are arbitrary: the Fahrenheit scale was originally based on the values 0°F for an equal ice-salt mixture, 32°F for the freezing point of water, and 96°F for normal human body temperature. There are certain primary calibration points corresponding to the boiling, free…
Temperature, body, measurement of body heat in animals. Warm-blooded animals (including human beings, other mammals, and birds) are able to maintain a fairly constant body temperature, which does not significantly fluctuate with the temperature of the environment. Body temperature in warm-blooded animals may change slightly over the course of a day: an adult human being's normal temperature…
Templars, Knights See: Knights Templars.
Temple, building or place dedicated to the worship of a deity.
Temple, Shirley (1928– ), U.S. child film star, later a politician.
Ten Commandments, or the Decalogue, moral laws delivered by God to Moses on Mt.
Tenant farming, system by which agricultural land holders, known as landlords, rent land to farmers, known as tenants, to produce crops.
Tendon, fibrous structure at the ends of most muscles that transmits the force of contraction to the point of action (usually a bone).
Teng Hsiao-p'ing See: Deng Xiaoping.
Tennessee, state in the south-central United States; bordered by Kentucky and Virginia to the north, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, and the Mississippi River (with Arkansas and Missouri on the other side) to the west. Tennessee has seven main land regions. The Blue Ridge region, a narrow strip along the state's eastern border, is a heavily forest…
Tennessee River, principal tributary of the Ohio River.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), U.S. federal agency responsible for developing the water and other resources of the Tennessee River Valley, established (1933) as one of the early measures of President Franklin D.
Tennis, racket game played on a rectangular court by two or four players.
Tennyson, Alfred, Lord (1809–92), English poet.
Tenochtitlán, capital of the Aztecs, now in Mexico City.
Tenpins See: Bowling.
Tenskwatawa See: Shawnee Prophet.
Tent caterpillar, larval stage of moths (genus Malacosoma) in the Lasio-campidae family.
Terbium, chemical element, symbol Tb; for physical constants see Periodic Table.
Terence (195?–159? B.C.), playwright of Roman comedies, written in Latin.
Teresa, Mother (1910–97), Roman Catholic nun, Albanian parents, who worked as a missionary in Calcutta, India.
Teresa, or Theresa, Saint (1515–82), also known as Theresa of Ávila, Spanish nun and Doctor of the Church.
Tereshkova, Valentina Vladimifouna (1937– ), Soviet cosmonaut, the first woman to orbit the earth.
Terman, Lewis Madison (1877–1956), U.S. psychologist.
Termite, or white ant, primitive insect (order Isoptera) closely related to the cockroach, found in all warm regions.
Tern, or sea swallow, slender, graceful seabird related to, but smaller than, the gull.
Terra cotta (Italian, “baked earth”), any fired earthenware product, especially one made from coarse, porous clay, red-brown in color and unglazed.
Terrapin, turtle (family Testudinidae) of fresh or brackish water, with diamond-shaped plates on its shell.
Terrell, Mary Church (1863–1954), U.S. activist in the movement for equal rights for African Americans.
Terrier, class of dogs.
Territorial waters, in international law, the belt of sea adjacent to a country and under its territorial jurisdiction.
Territoriality, behavioral drive causing animals to set up distinct territories defended against other members of the same species (conspecifics) for the purposes of establishing a breeding site, home range, or feeding area.
Territory, in politics, area under a government's control, but with limited self-government.
Terrorism, actual or threatened violence for political ends. The level of terrorism increased markedly in the 1970s as antigovernment groups throughout the world turned to violent acts such as bombing, hijacking, kidnapping, and murder. Terrorism attracted increased international attention through the stepped up activities of Palestinians and their allies, who gave up hope of defeating Israel by c…
Terry, Dame Ellen Alicia (1848–1928), English actress.
Tertiary Period, the lower division of the Cenozoic era, extending from the end of the Cretaceous to the beginning of the Quaternary, from 70,000,000 to 2,000,000 years ago.
Tesla, Nikola (1856–1943), U.S. electrical engineer, inventor of the induction motor.
Testes See: Testicle.
Testicle, or testis (plural: testes), one of paired male sex glands.
Testing, in education and psychology, procedures to evaluate individuals with respect to intelligence, skills, perceptions, or other parameters. Testing in the classroom is generally nonstandardized, designed by the teacher to measure the achievements of the students in assimilating subject matter. Standardized testing in education is used to compare individuals to group norms, as in Graduate Reco…
Testosterone, androgen steroid produced by the testes under the control of luteinizing hormone.
Tet Offensive, in the Vietnam War, a coordinated cluster of attacks against cities and bases in South Vietnam by Vietcong and North Vietnamese forces, beginning on Jan. 30, 1968, the first day of the Tet (New Year) holiday.
Tetanus, or lockjaw, disease of the nervous system caused by toxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium tetani.
Teton, Grand See: Grand Teton National Park.
Teton Range, mountain range located in Wyoming and Idaho in Grand Teton National Park.
Tetracycline, name for broad-spectrum antibiotics that can be given by mouth.
Teutonic Knights, group of German crusaders.
Teutons, Northern European tribes that attacked the Roman empire early in the 1st century B.C.
Texas, the largest state in the southwestern region of the United States and the second-largest state in the nation; bordered by Oklahoma and the Red River to the north, Arkansas, Louisiana, and the Sabine River to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast, the Rio Grande (with Mexico opposite) to the south and southwest, and New Mexico to the west. Texas has five main land regions. The Gulf C…
Texas fever See: Cattle tick.