Bell's palsy, nerve disorder that causes paralysis of one side of the face.
21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Bell's palsy to Black Friday
Belmopan (pop. 4,000), capital city of Belize, a country on the Caribbean coast.
Belo Horizonte (pop. 1,443,000), city in Brazil, about 220 mi (354 km) north of Rio de Janeiro.
Belorussia See: Byelorussia.
Belsen, German village in Lower Saxony, site of the infamous Nazi concentration camp calledBergen-Belsen, where over 115,000 people, mostly Jews, were killed.
Beluga, or white whale, small (13 ft/4 m) whale (Delphinapterus leucas) living in northern seas and prized for its skin.
Bemelmans, Ludwig (1898–1962), Austrian-American writer and illustrator of Hansi (1934), My War with the United States (1937), Madeline (1939), and other satiric and children's stories.
Bemis, Samuel Flagg (1891–1973), U.S. historian.
Ben Bella, Ahmed (1918– ), Algerian revolutionary who helped plan the 1954 anti-French revolt.
Ben-Gurion, David (David Grün; 1886–1973), Polish-born Israeli statesman and first prime minister of Israel.
Ben-Hur See: Wallace, Lew.
Benét, Steven Vincent (1898–1943), U.S. poet, novelist, and short story writer, whose works center on U.S. history and tradition.
Ben-Zvi, Itzhak (1884–1963), Russian-born second president of Israel (1952–63).
Benares See: Varanasi.
Benavente y Martínez, Jacinto (1866–1954), Spanish playwright.
Benchley, Robert Charles (1889–1945), U.S. writer, drama critic of Life (1920–29) and The New Yorker (1929–40).
Bendix, Vincent (1882–1945), U.S. mechanical engineer and industrialist who developed and mass-produced a 4-wheel brake system for automobiles and devised a practicable self-starter.
Bends, also known as caisson disease or decompression sickness, dangerous physiological reaction resulting from a rapid decrease in atmospheric pressure that may release nitrogen bubbles into the body.
Benedict of Nursia, Saint (c.480–547), father of Western monasticism, whose “rule” set the pattern of monastic life from the mid-7th century.
Benedict, Ruth Fulton (1887–1948), U.S. cultural anthropologist whose extensive fieldwork helped illustrate the theory of cultural relativism—what is considered deviant in one culture may be normal in another.
Benedict XV (Giacomo Della Chiesa; 1854–1922), Roman Catholic pope during the outbreak of World War I.
Benedictine Orders, the “Black Monks,” order of monks and nuns following the rule of St.
Benelux, customs union formed by Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, in 1948. “Benelux” is often used collectively for the countries themselves.
Benes, Eduard (1884–1948), co-founder, with Thomas Masaryk, of the Czechoslovak Republic.
Bengal, region including Bangladesh and northeastern India on the Bay of Bengal.
Bengal, Bay of See: Bay of Bengal.
Benghazi (pop. 368,000), seaport and second largest city of Libya.
Benin (formerly Dahomey), republic in West Africa, flanked by Togo in the west, Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) in the northwest, Niger in the north, Nigeria in the east, and the Gulf of Guinea in the south. The population is concentrated in the south coastal region, where Cotonou, a major port city and commercial center, and Porto-Novo, the capital, are located. There are 4 major tribes: the …
Benjamin, Judah Philip (1811–84), West Indian-born U.S. politician and lawyer, called the “brains of the Confederacy.” As U.S. senator from Louisiana (1853–61), he was an able advocate of the Southern cause.
Bennett, Arnold (1867–1931), English novelist, journalist, and play wright.
Bennett, Floyd (1890–1928), U.S. aviator who piloted Richard Byrd on the first flight over the North Pole (May 9, 1926).
Bennett, James Gordon (1795–1872), Scottish-born U.S. newspaper publisher and editor, pioneer of modern news reporting.
Bennett, Richard Bedford (1870–1945), prime minister of Canada (1930–35) and leader of the Conservative Party.
Bennington, town in southwestern Vermont, about 35 mi (56 km) northeast of Albany, N.Y.
Benny, Jack (Benjamin Kubelsky; 1894–1974), U.S. comedian.
Bent grass, popular name for some grasses (genus Agrostis) of Europe, North America, and North Africa, widely grown for pasture cover and for hay.
Bent, William (1809–1869), U.S. fur trader and pioneer, the first permanent white resident in Colorado.
Bentham, Jeremy (1748–1832), English philosopher, economist, and jurist, founder of Utilitarianism, a social philosophy whose aim was to achieve “the greatest happiness of the greatest number.” His major work was An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789).
Bentley, Eric (1916– ), British-born U.S. drama critic and university professor.
Benton, Thomas Hart (1782–1858), U.S. statesman; great uncle of the painter Thomas Hart Benton.
Benton, Thomas Hart (1889–1975), U.S. painter; greatnephew of Senator Thomas Hart Benton.
Bentonite, type of fine-grained clay that greatly increases in volume when saturated with water.
Bentsen, Lloyd Millard, Jr. (1921– ), U.S.
Benz, Karl (1844–1929), German engineer believed to have built the first automobile (1885) with an internal combustion engine.
Benzedrine, U.S. trade name of a drug containing amphetamine.
Benzene, colorless, flammable, toxic liquid hydrocarbon (C6H6) produced from petroleum and from coal gas and coal tar.
Benzine, flammable liquid distilled from petroleum.
Benzocaine, crystalline ester, used as a local anesthetic, usually in an ointment or in lozenges.
Benzol See: Benzene.
Benzyl alcohol (also called phenylcarbinol C6H5CH2OH), colorless, aromatic alcohol found in the oils of many flowers.
Beograd See: Belgrade.
Beothuk, tribe of Native Americans that once lived on the island of Newfoundland and spoke Bethukian, an independent language.
Beowulf, anonymous heroic epic poem, probably composed in the 8th century, the greatest extant poem in Old English.
Berbers, several culturally distinct North African peoples, usually Muslim, who speak the Hamitic Berber language or any of its main dialects.
Berchtesgaden (pop. 8,300), small Alpine resort town in southeastern Bavaria.
Berdyayev, Nikolai Aleksandrovich (1874–1948), Russian religious philosopher.
Berg, Alban (1885–1935), Austrian composer of expressive 12-tone music.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), fruit whose rind yields an oil used in perfumes and essences.
Bergen (pop. 218,100), seaport and second largest city in Norway, situated on the southwest coast on the By Fjord.
Bergen-Belsen See: Belsen.
Berger, Victor Louis (1860–1929), first Socialist member of U.S.
Bergerac, Cyrano de See: Cyrano de Bergerac, Savinien de.
Bergman, Ingmar (1918– ), Swedish film and stage director, producer, and writer.
Bergman, Ingrid (1917–84), Swedish stage and screen actress.
Bergson, Henri-Louis (1859–1941), French philosopher.
Beriberi, disease caused by lack of vitamin B1 (thiamine).
Bering Sea, extreme northern arm of the North Pacific Ocean, 885,000 sq mi (2,292,150 sq km) in area, bounded by East Siberia, Alaska, and the Aleutian Islands.
Bering Sea Controversy, Anglo-American dispute in 1886.
Bering Strait, sea-channel linking the Arctic Ocean with the Bering Sea and separating Siberia from Alaska.
Bering, Vitus Jonassen (1681–1741), Danish explorer.
Berkeley (pop. 102,724), California city on the east side of San Francisco Bay.
Berkeley, Busby (1895–1976), U.S. choreographer and film director who revolutionized the staging of musical production numbers in Hollywood films.
Berkeley, George (1685–1753), Irish philosopher and bishop who, rejecting the views of Locke, argued that the apparent existence of material reality was merely a projection of the mind of God.
Berkeley, Sir William (1606–77), royal governor of Virginia, 1642–52 and 1660–77.
Berkelium, chemical element, symbol Bk; for physical constants see Periodic Table.
Berkman, Alexander (1870–1936), Polish-born U.S. anarchist.
Berle, Milton (Milton Berlinger; 1908– ), U.S. comedian.
Berlin (pop. 3,438,000), capital city of Germany located in the eastern part of the country on the Spree and Havel rivers.
Berlin Airlift, operation by the United Kingdom and the United States to fly essential supplies into West Berlin during the Russian land and water blockade (1948–49).
Berlin, Congress of, international meeting of Russia, Turkey, and major European powers held in 1878 under the leadership of Otto von Bismarck to settle problems created by the 1877–78 Russo-Turkish War.
Berlin, Irving (Israel Baline; 1888–1989), U.S. songwriter.
Berlin Wall, wall 26 mi (42 km) long built in 1961 dividing East and West Berlin.
Berliner, Emile (1851–1929), inventor who contributed to early telephone and phonograph developments.
Berlioz, Louis-Hector (1803–69), French romantic composer of dramatic, descriptive works.
Bermuda, British colony comprising about 150 coral islands of which 20 are inhabited, lying in the North Atlantic Ocean, 580 miles (933 km) east of North Carolina.
Bermuda Triangle, area of the Atlantic Ocean roughly bounded by Bermuda, the Greater Antilles, and the southeastern coast of the United States, in which many ships and planes are said to have vanished.
Bern, or Berne (pop. 138,600), capital city of Switzerland and of Bern canton.
Bernadette, Saint (Marie-Bernarde Soubirous; 1844–79), French peasant girl who claimed to have had 18 visions of the Virgin Mary in a Lourdes grotto in 1858.
Bernadotte, Jean Baptiste Jules (1763–1844), French general who founded Sweden's present royal dynasty.
Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint (1090?–1153), French theologian and mystic who was the abbot of a Cistercian monastery and inspired the Second Crusade.
Bernard, Claude (1813–78), French physiologist, one of the founders of experimental medicine.
Bernese mountain dog, Swiss breed of large, powerful dog.
Bernhardt, Sarah (Henriette Rosine Bernard; 1844–1923), French actress.
Bernier, Joseph Elzéar (1852–1934), Canadian explorer renowned for his arctic voyages.
Bernini, Giovanni Lorenzo (1598–1680), Italian sculptor and architect who gave Rome many of its characteristic baroque features.
Bernoulli's principle, theorem of aerodynamics stating that the pressure of a moving gas will be lowest where its speed is highest, or that a moving fluid conserves energy.
Bernstein, Carl See: Watergate.
Bernstein, Leonard (1918–1990), U.S. conductor and composer, best known for his musical West Side Story (1957).
Berra, Yogi (Lawrence Peter Berra; 1925– ), U.S. baseball player for the New York Yankees, 1946–63.
Berrigan, Daniel and Philip (1922– ) and (1924– ), Roman Catholic priests in the pacifist “Catonsville Nine” group.
Berry, Chuck (Charles Edward Anderson Berry; 1926– ), U.S. rock and roll singer, songwriter, and guitarist.
Berryman, John (1914–72), U.S. poet, active from the 1930s.
Bertillon, Alphonse (1853–1914), French criminologist who devised a system for identifying criminals based on the body measurements.
Bertolucci, Bernardo (1940– ), Italian filmmaker known for such films as The Conformist (1970), Last Tango in Paris (1972), La Luna (1979), Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man (1981), The Last Emperor (1985), The Sheltering Sky (1990), Little Buddha (1993), and Stealing Beauty (1995). is films are often controversial and provocative.
Beryl, beryllium and aluminum silicate (Be3AP2Si6O18), the most common ore of beryllium.
Beryllium, chemical element, symbol Be; for physical constants see Periodic Table.
Berzelius, Jöns Jakob, Baron (1779–1848), Swedish chemist who determined the atomic weights of nearly 40 elements before 1818, discovered cerium (1803), selenium (1818), and thorium (1829), introduced the terms protein, isomerism, and catalysis, and devised the modern method of writing chemical formulas (1813).
Besant, Annie (Wood) (1847–1933), British theosophist and social reformer.
Bessarabia, historic region of southeastern Europe, northwest of the Black Sea, between the Dniester and Danube rivers.
Bessel, Friedrich Wilhelm (1784–1846), astronomer and mathematician.
Bessemer process, process of making steel from pig iron.
Best, Charles Herbert (1899–1978), Canadian physiologist.
Beta-blocker, drug that affects the transmission of signals at beta-receptors, parts of the sympathetic nervous system located in the heart, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels.
Beta particle, one of the particles that can be emitted by a radioactive atomic nucleus.
Betancourt, Rómulo (1908–81), president of Venezuela (1945–47 and 1957–63) and founder of the left-wing Acción Democrática Party (1935).
Betatron, apparatus designed to accelerate electrons to high velocities.
Betel, preparation made with the seeds of the betel palm.
Betelgeuse, or Alpha Orionis, second brightest star in the constellation Orion.
Bethe, Hans Albrecht (1906– ), German-born U.S. theoretical physicist who proposed the nuclear carbon cycle to account for the sun's energy output (1938).
Bethesda (pop. 62,936), city in Montgomery County, central Maryland, a residential suburb of Washington, D.C.
Bethlehem (pop. 71,428), city in eastern Pennsylvania, 50 mi (80 km) northwest of Philadelphia, on the Lehigh River.
Bethlehem (Hebrew: Bayt Lahm; pop. 16,300), town in Israeli-occupied West Bank, 6 mi (9.7 km) south of Jerusalem, and sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Bethune, Mary McLeod (1875–1955), African-American educator and civil rights activist.
Bethune, Norman (1890–1930), Canadian physician who achieved national hero status in China in 1938 for the establishment of hospitals and medical schools, and for his role as chief medical officer of the Chinese Communist Army.
Betjeman, Sir John (1906–84), English poet laureate and architectural conservationist, often called a lyrical satirist.
Bettelheim, Bruno (1903–90), Austrian-born U.S. psychologist who drew on his personal experience as an inmate of Nazi concentration camps to write his famous article, “Individual and Mass Behavior in Extreme Situations” (1943).
Better business bureau, consumer protection organization such as exists in nearly 200 cities in the United States, Canada, and Israel.
Bevatron, in physics, a 6 or more billion electron volt accelerator of protons and other atomic particles.
Beveridge, William Henry (1879–1963), British economist and social planner, director of London School of Economics (1919–37).
Beverly Hills (pop. 31,971), residential city in southern California, completely surrounded by Los Angeles.
Bhagavad-Gita (Song of God), anonymous Sanskrit poem dating from c.200 B.C., incorporated into the Mahabharata epic, a classic work of Hinduism.
Bhopal (pop. c. 1,062,700), capital of Madhya Pradesh in central India.
Bhutan, kingdom on the southern slopes of the eastern Himalayas, between Tibet on the north and Bangladesh and India on the south.
Bhutto, Benazir (1953– ), prime minister of Pakistan (1988–90, 1993– ).
Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali (1928–79), president and prime minister of Pakistan (1971–77); father of Benazir Bhutto.
Biafra, name assumed by Nigeria's Eastern Region during its attempted secession (1967–70).
Bialik, Chaim Nachman (1873–1934), one of the greatest of modern Hebrew poets and novelists.
Bible, name of the sacred writings of the Christian religion.
Bibliothèque nationale, national library in Paris, France.
Bicameral legislature See: Legislature.
Bicarbonate of soda (NaHCO3), sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, chemical compound used to relieve stomach acidity.
Bichat, Marie François Xavier (1771–1802), French anatomist and pathologist, founder of histology, the study of the small-scale structure of tissue.
Bicuspid See: Teeth.
Bicycle, 2-wheeled vehicle propelled by pedals.
Bicycle racing, popular sport in many countries, especially in Europe.
Biddle, Nicholas (1786–1844), president of the second Bank of the United States (1823–36).
Bieber, Owen Frederick (1929– ), president of the United Automobile Workers (UAW).
Biedermeier, utilitarian middle-class style of furniture popular in Germany from about 1810 to 1850.
Bienville, Jean Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de (1680–1768), French explorer and naval officer who founded New Orleans.
Bierce, Ambrose Gwinett (1842–1914?), U.S. short-story writer and satirical journalist.
Bierstadt, Albert (1830–1902), German-born U.S. landscape painter famous for his large, realistic Western scenes, including Sierra Nevada and The Settlement of California.
Bifocals See: Glasses.
Big bang, theory that all the matter and energy of the universe was concentrated in a compact, infinitely small volume that exploded some 15 to 20 billion years ago, giving rise to the present universe, still expanding from the initial explosion.
Big Ben, popular name for the tower clock of the Houses of Parliament in London.
Big Bend National Park, tract of mountains and desert on the Texas border with Mexico, in the Big Bend of the Rio Grande River.
Big Five, the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council: China, France, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States.
Big and Little Dippers, 2 constellations that each resemble a water dipper.
Bigamy, in law, felony or misdemeanor of being married to 2 persons simultaneously.
Bighorn, Rocky Mountain sheep (Ovis canadensis) inhabiting the higher mountain ranges of the western United States from New Mexico and southern California northward.
Bighorn Mountains, range of the eastern Rocky Mountains, mainly in northern Wyoming, but extending into Montana east of the Bighorn River.
Bighorn River, river in the Wind River Canyon in Wyoming and flowing through Montana, where it joins the Yellowstone River.
Bignonia, any of several hundred species of plants of the Bignoniaceae family, native to warmer parts of the Americas.
Bihzad, Kamal ad-Din (1450–1537), Persian miniature painter, famous for illustrating manuscripts such as Timur Namah, Gulistan, and Khamsa.
Bikini, atoll in the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific Ocean.
Bilbao (pop. 369,800), major seaport in northern Spain and former capital of a once autonomous Basque region.
Bile, yellow or greenish fluid secreted by the liver which aids in digestion and absorption, particularly of fatty foods.
Bilharziasis See: Schistosomiasis.
Bilirubin See: Bile; Jaundice.
Bill, term for various written documents in politics, law, banking, commerce, and so forth. In politics, it is the draft of a statute submitted to the legislature for debate and eventual adoption as law. In the courtroom it was formerly applied to the written statement of a plaintiff's case, now usually referred to as a writ or statement of claim. Bills of attainder, passed by the English p…
Bill of exchange, negotiable instrument used in commerce that is drawn up and signed by one person to direct another person to pay a certain sum of money at a certain time to the bearer or to the party named on the bill.
Bill of rights, constitutional document that defines the rights of a people, safeguarding them against undue governmental interference. In the United States these rights and safeguards are embodied in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. After the American Revolution there was great popular demand for constitutionally defined rights to limit the power of the new government. Bills of rights…
Billiards, any of several indoor games in which balls set on a felt-covered rectangular table with cushioned edges are struck by the end of a long tapering stick (the cue).
Billings (pop. 113,419), largest city in Montana, seat of Yellowstone County, located in the south central part of the state.
Billings, William (1746–1800), first professional composer and musician born in the American colonies.
Billy the Kid (WilliamH.
Biloxi (pop. 197,125), second largest city in Mississippi, a summer and winter resort located on the southern coast along the Gulf of Mexico.
Bimetallism, economic term for the use of 2 metals (usually gold and silver) to back a country's currency, making every coin and bill in circulation related to a definite value of both gold and silver.
Binary numbers, system of designating numbers using only the digits 0 and 1, widely employed in digital computers.
Binary star, or double star, pair of stars that orbit around their common center of gravity.
Bindweed, common name for a weedy plant (genus Convolvulus) of the morning-glory family, Convolvulaceae.
Binet, Alfred (1857–1911), French psychologist who pioneered methods of mental testing.
Bing, Sir Rudolf (1902– ), Austrian-born British opera impresario.
Bingham, George Caleb (1811–79), U.S. genre painter noted for his mid-western river scenes, such as Fur Traders Descending the Missouri (1845) and Raftsmen Playing Cards (1846).
Binoculars, optical instrument consisting of a pair of compact telescopes mounted side by side.
Biochemistry, study of the substances occurring in living organisms and the reactions in which they are involved.
Biofeedback, method of electronically monitoring various specific biological functions, such as blood pressure, with the aim of helping a person gain greater control of otherwise unconscious physiological processes.
Biogenesis, origin and evolution of living forms.
Biological clock, mechanism that controls the rhythm of various activities of plants and animals.
Biological warfare, war waged with microorganisms and their toxins against people, animals, and plants.
Biology, science of living things. The most important subdivisions of biology are zoology, the study of animals, and botany, the study of plants. Advances in scientific knowledge have led to an increase in the number of fields of biological study. Some biologists study subdivisions of the animal and plant kingdoms: entomology (the study of insects), mycology (fungi), paleontology (fossils), and mi…
Bioluminescence, the production of nonthermal light by living organisms, such as fireflies, many marine animals, bacteria, and fungi.
Biome, major ecological unit that is relatively stable, widespread, and well-defined.
Biomedical engineering, application of principles of engineering to biology and medicine, usually involving collaboration between engineers and biological scientists.
Bionics, science of designing artificial systems that apply the principles that govern the functioning of living organisms.
Biophysics, branch of biology in which the methods and principles of physics are applied to the study of living things.
Biosphere, the part of the earth inhabited by living things.
Biosynthesis, biochemical reactions by which living cells build complex molecules from simple ones.
Biotechnology, industrial application of biological knowledge, in particular through the alteration of genes, called genetic engineering.
Biotite See: Mica.
Birch, name for various deciduous trees and shrubs of the family Betulaceae, characterized by their smooth, white outer bark, which sometimes peels off in layers.
Bird, animal adapted for flight and unique in its body covering of feathers. There are more than 8,500 species. Birds are warm-blooded descendants of reptiles of the dinosaur group. They developed feathers from scales (still evident on their legs) and became two-legged as their forelimbs became wings. Their teeth disappeared, replaced by a horny bill used for feeding and performing complicated tas…
Bird, Larry (1956– ), U.S. basketball player.
Bird of paradise, any of more than 40 species of brilliantly colored, plumed birds of the family Paradiseidae, found in eastern Australia, the Moluccas, and New Guinea.
Bird of paradise, plant (Strelitzia reginae) named for the colorful bird which its flowers resemble.
Birdseye, Clarence (1886–1956), U.S. inventor and industrialist who, having observed during fur-trading expeditions to Labrador (1912–16) that many foods keep indefinitely if frozen, developed a process for freezing food.
Birmingham (pop. 1,009,100), second-largest city in England, about 200 mi (161 km) northwest of London. Birmingham is known as the steel city, producing everything from pins to automobiles. In ancient times a Saxon settlement existed in this area, and by 1166 the site had become a busy market village trading in small metal goods made in nearby Staffordshire, where iron and coal were plentiful. By …
Birmingham (pop. 907,810), largest city in Alabama, situated in the Jones Valley and protected by mountains to the southeast and northwest.
Birney, James Gillespie (1792–1857), U.S. abolitionist.
Birth, the climax of gestation (the development of a child or other baby mammal within its mother's body) and the beginning of an independent life. In humans, a normal birth proceeds in 3 stages. Mild labor pains caused by contractions of the muscles of the uterus are usually the first sign that a woman is about to give birth. The contractions push the baby downwards, usually head first, wh…
Birth control, prevention of conception in order to avert unwanted births.
Birth defect, congenital anomaly; structural or severe functional defect present at birth. Birth defects cause about 10% of neonatal deaths. A major anomaly is apparent at birth in 3–4% of newborns; by the age of 5, up to 7.5% of all children manifest a congenital defect. The incidence of specific congenital anomalies varies with a number of factors: (1) Individual defe…
Birthmark, skin blemish, usually congenital.
Birthstone, gemstone associated with a month.
Bishop, Billy (William Avery Bishop; 1894–1956), Canadian military flier, credited with shooting down 72 German airplanes in World War I.
Bishop, Elizabeth (1911–79), U.S. poet and translator of Brazilian poetry, widely acclaimed for her succinct style and lyricism.
Bismarck, one of the most powerful German battleships of World War II.
Bismarck (pop. 83,831), capital of North Dakota and seat of Burleigh County, on the Missouri River.
Bismarck Archipelago, group of mountainous islands in the Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Guinea, comprising New Britain, New Ireland, the Admiralty Islands, and many smaller islands.
Bismarck, Prince Otto von (1815–1898), German political leader who was instrumental in creating a unified German state.
Bismuth, chemical element, symbol Bi; for physical constants see Periodic Table.
Bison, any of several species (genus Bison) of ox-like animals of the family Bovidae.
Bissau (pop. 109,000), capital, largest city, and major port of Guinea-Bissau.
Bithynia, ancient country of Asia Minor, in what is now Turkey.
Bitter root, any of several small perennial plants of the family Portulaceae, with long edible roots.
Bitterling, minnowlike fish of the family Cyprinidae, found in the fresh waters of Europe and Asia Minor.
Bittern, any of several species of migratory birds of the heron family.
Bitternut, medium to large-sized tree (Carya cordiformis) of the walnut family, which grows mostly in low wet woods.
Bittersweet, either of 2 unrelated woody vines: U.S. bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) and European bittersweet (Solarium dulcamara).
Bitumen, general term for naturally occurring hydrocarbons (compounds of hydrogen and carbon).
Bituminous sands, sands containing natural bitumen deposits.
Bizet, Georges (1838–75), French composer, best known for his opera Carmen (1875), one of the most popular in history.
Björling, Jussi (1911–1960), Swedish operatic tenor who specialized in Italian opera, especially works by Verdi and Puccini.
Bjørnson, Bjørnstjerne Martinius (1832–1910), Norwegian poet, critic, novelist, dramatist, and politician, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature (1903).
Black Americans See: African Americans.
Black Codes, laws enacted after the Civil War in the states that had formed the Confederacy.
Black, Davidson (1884–1934), Canadian anthropologist who discovered the early human species later known popularly as Peking man.
Black Death, common name for an epidemic of bubonic plague that swept through Asia and Europe in the mid-14th century, perhaps halving the population of Europe.
Black-eyed pea See: Cowpea.
Black-eyed Susan, hardy annual or biennial coneflower (Rudbeckia hirta), the state flower of Maryland.
Black Forest, wooded mountain range in the province of Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany.
Black Friday, term referring to 2 particular financial disasters that occurred on Fridays.
Black, Hugo Lafayette (1886–1971), U.S. politician and jurist, associate justice of the Supreme Court (1937–71).
Black, Joseph (1728–99), Scottish physician and chemist.
Blackbeard (d. 1718), English pirate whose real name was probably Edward Teach or Thatch.
Blackberry, prickly bramble (genus Rubus) of the rose family, native to north temperate regions of the world, that produces an edible fruit.
Blackbird, any of several dark-colored perching birds of the family Icteridae, including the red-winged blackbird and the yellow-headed blackbird.
Blackbuck (Antilope cervicaprd), antelope of India and Pakistan.
Blackfish, common name given to any of various dark-colored fishes, including the black sea bass found along the Atlantic coast of the United States, the Alaska blackfish found in streams and ponds in Alaska and Siberia, and the tautog, found in the Atlantic Ocean from New Brunswick, Canada, to South Carolina.
Blackfoot tribes, North American plains tribes of the Algonquin linguistic family.