P′eng-hu See: Pescadores.
21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Palestine to Pennsylvania
In response to Zionism, Jews had been emigrating to Palestine since the 1850s. Seeking to establish a Jewish homeland, the immigrants met with increasing resistance and hostility from Muslim Palestinians. With its Bal-four Declaration in 1917, the British government, which had become dominant in the region after World War I, left an ambiguous legacy that satisfied neither Muslims nor Jews. Between…
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), coordinating body (founded 1964) of Palestinian groups recognized (1974) by the UN and the Arab states as the sole official representative of the Palestinian people. Of the many groups that make up the PLO, Fatah, led by Yasir Arafat, is predominant. The guerrilla groups of the PLO were driven out of Jordan in 1970, after a bloody civil war. They were next …
Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi da (c.1525–94), Italian Renaissance composer of unaccompanied choral church music.
Palladio, Andrea (Andrea di Pietro; 1508–80), Italian architect, creator of the immensely influential Paladian style.
Palladium, chemical element, symbol Pd; forphysical constants see Periodic Table. Palladium was discovered by William H. Wollaston in 1803. It occurs native associated with platinum, gold, and silver and also as a selenide. Commercially, it is obtained as a byproduct in the production of platinum, nickel, and copper. It is prepared in sponge form by the thermal decomposition of palladium dichlorod…
Pallas See: Athena.
Palm, any of over 3,000 species of trees, shrubs, and vines of the family Palmae, native mainly to tropical and subtropical regions.
Palm oil, substance obtained from the fruit and seed kernel of the African oil palm (genus Elaeis).
Palm Springs (pop. 32,359), city in southern California where natural hot springs (for which the Spanish named it Agua Caliente) make it a resort and tourist center.
Palm Sunday, Sunday before Easter and the first day of Holy Week, commemorating Jesus's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when palm leaves were spread in his path.
Palmer, Arnold (1929– ), U.S. golfer.
Palmer, A(lexander) Mitchell (1872–1936), U.S. attorney general (1919–21) notorious for the Palmer Raids—mass arrests of supposed subversives, many of whom were deported as aliens.
Palmer, Nathaniel Brown (1799–1877), U.S. mariner and explorer, the reputed discoverer of the Antarctic continent.
Palmerston, Viscount (1784–1865), British politician remembered for his successful and often aggressive foreign policy.
Palmetto, any of a genus (Sabal) of fan-leaved, usually small, palm trees, common to the southeastern United States and the West Indies.
Palmistry, practice (over 4,000 years old) of reading the markings on a person's palm for the purpose of predicting the future.
Palmyra, ancient city in central Syria.
Palmyra palm, tall, fan-leaved tree (Borassus flabellifer) of tropical Asia.
Palo Alto (pop. 55,225), California city about 25 mi (40 km) south of San Francisco, near the southern tip of San Francisco Bay.
Palomar Observatory, astronomical observatory on Palomar Mt. 5,660 ft (1,725 m) above sea level, northeast of San Diego, in southern California.
Paloverde, any of a genus (Cercidium) of small trees of the pea family native to the southwestern United States and other hot, dry regions of the Americas.
Palpitation See: Tachycardia.
Palsson, Thorsteinn (1947– ), Icelandic politician, prime minister since 1987.
Palsy, paralysis, especially a progressive form culminating late in life, characterized by tremors of the limbs and muscular weakness and rigidity.
Pamirs, mountainous region of central Asia, predominantly in Tajikistan, but extending into Afghanistan, China, and Kashmir.
Pampa, term for several plains of South America, specifically for the great grass plain of central and northern Argentina.
Pan, in Greek mythology, god of fertility, usually portrayed as a man with the legs, ears, and horns of a goat.
Pan-American conferences, or Inter-American conferences, meetings of representatives of independent nations of the Western Hemisphere to discuss political, legal, military, economic, and social issues.
Pan American Games, quadrennial amateur sports contest between nations of the Americas.
Pan American Highway, road system linking Latin American countries with each other and with the U.S. interstate highway system.
Pan American Union, organization of independent states of North and South America founded in 1910.
Panama, small Central American republic situated on the Isthmus of Panama, which is a narrow strip of land forming the connecting link between Central and South America that also separates the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Panama City is the capital. Panama is bisected by the Panama Canal, which cuts through the low hills of the country's central area. The canal is the most important feature…
Panama Canal, artificial waterway crossing the Isthmus of Panama, linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Panama Canal Zone, strip of land (553 sq mi/1,432 sq km) extending 5 mi (8 km) on either side of the Panama Canal.
Panama City (pop. 625,100), capital of Panama, on the Gulf of Panama, at the Pacific entrance to the canal.
Pancreas, glandular organ that secretes enzymes and hormones essential to the digestive process.
Pancreatin, mixture of enzymes from the pancreatic juice, a secretion of the pancreas that helps the body to digest starch, fats, and proteins.
Panda, either of 2 Asian mammals anatomically similarto raccoons and each having an unusual sixth digit on each hand.
Pandit, Vijaya Lakshmi (1900– ), Indian diplomat and political leader.
Pandora, in Greek mythology, first woman on earth.
Pangolin, any of a group of mammals found in Asia and Africa whose bodies are covered by hard, overlapping scales.
Pankhurst, English family of women's rights activists.
Panmunjom, village in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, where the truce to end the Korean War was negotiated (1951–53) and signed (July 27, 1953).
Pansy, cultivated plant (Viola tricolor hortensis) bred from the European violet.
Pantheon, historically, temple dedicated to the worship of all the gods.
Panther, common name for the black leopard, found in Asia and Africa.
Pantomime, drama performed entirely through facial expression, movement, and gesture, without speech.
Pantothenic acid See: Vitamin.
Papadopoulos, George (1919– ), Greek army officer, prime minister(1967–73) and president (June–Nov. 1973) of Greece under a military junta.
Papago, name for North American Native American tribe of southern Arizona and northwestern Sonora, Mexico, related to the Pimas.
Papal States, lands in Italy under the rule of the popes from 754 to 1870.
Papandreou, 2 premiers of Greece.
Papaw See: Papaya; Pawpaw.
Papaya, small, tropical, American fruit tree (Carica papaya), widely cultivated for its yellow, oblong, edible fruit of the same name.
Papeete See: Tahiti.
Papen, Franz von (1879–1969), German diplomat and politician.
Paper, flat sheet, usually made of plant fibers, used for writing and printing, probably invented in China c.A.D. 105, using bark and hemp.
Paper nautilus See: Argonaut.
Paperwork, paper designed and used for decorative purposes, including wallpaper and gift wrapping.
Papier-mâché, molding material made of pulped paper mixed with flour paste, glue, or resin.
Papillon, originally, dwarf spaniel, breed of small dog with along, silky coat and butterfly-shaped ears.
Papineau, Louis Joseph (1786–1871), Canadian politician, champion of French-Canadian rights in the English-dominated executive and legislature of Lower Canada (Quebec).
Papua New Guinea, since 1975, independent nation in the Pacific located just north of Australia. The eastern half of New Guinea Island comprises five-sixths of the nation's territory, which also includes the islands of Bougainville, Buka, and the Bismarck archipelago to the northeast and smaller islands to the southeast. Papua New Guinea is a mountainous, densely forested region with a mons…
Papyrus, stout, reedlike plant (Cyperus papyrus) of the sedge family widely used in ancient Egypt.
Paré, Ambroise (1517?–90), French surgeon whose many achievements (e.g., using ligatures of arteries in place of cauterization, introducing the use of artificial limbs) earned him regard as a pioneer of modern surgery.
Pará nut See: Brazil nut.
Parable, short tale or anecdote designed to make a moral point or to present a spiritual truth, using everyday language and homely imagery.
Parabola, geometrical curve, similar in shape to the path followed by a projectile when it is fired into the air.
Paracelsus, Philippus Aureolus (1493?–1541), Swiss alchemist and physician who channeled the arts of alchemy into the preparation of medical remedies.
Parachute, collapsible, umbrellalike device used to retard movement through the air.
Paraguay, landlocked country in South America. Paraguay has an area of 157,047 sq mi (406,752 sq km) and is bordered by Bolivia on the northwest, Brazil on the northeast, and Argentina to the south and southeast. The Paraguay River, flowing north-south, divides the country into two sharply contrasting regions: the eastern region, sometimes called Paraguay Proper, and the western Chaco region. The …
Paraguay River, chief tributary of the Paraná River, in South America.
Parakeet, popular name for any of various small parrots, usually with green plumage and a long tail, popular as a cage bird and native to the Indo-Malayan region.
Parallax, change in the apparent position of an object due to a change in the position of the observer.
Paralysis, temporary or permanent loss of muscle power or control.
Paramaribo (pop. 195,000), capital and chief port of Suriname, on the Suriname River, 17 mi (27 km) inland from the Caribbean Sea.
Paramecium, single-cell, microscopic animal (genus Paramecium) in the phylum Protozoa.
Paramedic, person who assists medical personnel.
Paraná (pop. 159,600), river port in northeastern Argentina, capital of Entre Ríos province, on the Paraná River.
Paraná River, southeastern South American river, formed by the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Paranaíba rivers in southeastern Brazil.
Parapsychology, scientific evaluation of ESP (extrasensory perception) and phenomena concerned with life after death, reincarnation, etc., particularly claims to communication with souls of the dead (spiritism, or, incorrectly, spiritualism).
Parasite, organism that is physiologically dependent on another organism, the host, from which it obtains nutrition and to which it gives nothing in return.
Parathyroid gland, any of 4 small endocrine bodies behind the thyroid that regulate calcium and phosphorus metabolism.
Parchment, skin of sheep, goats, or calves, which is cleaned, stretched, and rubbed with pumice or chalk to make a material that can be written on, used to make drumheads, or bookbinding.
Pardon, official act of forgiveness extended to a convicted person, generally by a country's chief executive, and in the United States also by a state's governor.
Parent, biological or social father or mother.
Parent education, instruction in childrearing.
Pareto, Vilfredo (1848–1923), Italian economist and sociologist.
Paricutín, volcano in southwestern Mexico.
Paris, in Greek mythology, son of Priam (king of Troy) and Hecuba.
Paris (city) (pop. 2,175,200), capital and largest city of France, in the north-central part of the country.
Paris, Pact of See: Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact.
Paris, Treaty of, name given to several treaties concluded at or near Paris, France. The Treaty of Paris, 1763, along with the Treaty of Hubertusburg, ended the Seven Years War, including the French and Indian Wars in America. France lost its military rights in India (and thus any chance of ousting the British) and its American possessions. Britain gained Canada, Florida, and parts of Louisiana, a…
Paris, University of, France's renowned institution of higher learning.
Parity, in economics, equivalence in the values of currencies or the price of goods over a period of time.
Parity, in physics, symmetry between an event and its reflection in a mirror.
Park Chung Hee (1917–79), president of South Korea (1963–79).
Park, David (1911–60), U.S. painter and art teacher.
Park, Mungo (1771–1806), Scottish explorer of West Africa.
Park, National See: National Park System.
Parker, Alton Brooks (1852–1926), U.S. jurist and Democratic presidential candidate.
Parker, Charlie (Charles Christopher Parker, Jr.; 1920–55), U.S. jazz musician and composer, known as Bird or Yardbird.
Parker, Dorothy (1893–1967), U.S. writer and critic.
Parker, Ely Samuel (Do-ne-ho-ga-wa; 1828–95), first Native American U.S.
Parker, Theodore (1810–60), U.S. liberal preacher and social reformer.
Parkinson's disease, or Parkinsonism, degenerative brain disorder, usually appearing after age 40, characterized by trembling lips and hands, shuffling gait, and muscular rigidity.
Parkinson's law, principle that in any bureaucracy “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” This humorous formulation of bureaucratic practices first appeared in C.
Parkman, Francis (1823–93), U.S. historian of the frontier and of the Anglo-French struggle for North America.
Parks, Rosa Lee (1913– ), African American civil rights activist.
Parlement, French high court of justice in Paris that operated from the Middle Ages until 1789.
Parliament, legislative body of Great Britain, technically comprising of the monarch (sovereign in name only), the House of Lords (a relatively powerless body composed of nobles and Anglican prelates), and the 635-member House of Commons, chosen by elections. The term Parliament usually refers to the Commons, the sovereign power of the nation. They elect the prime minister and the nonpartisan spea…
Parliamentary procedure (parliamentary law, parliamentary practice, rules of order), rules that govern the functioning of legislative bodies and other institutions—such as clubs, political parties, or corporations—that hold meetings that resemble those of legislatures.
Parma (pop. 170,600), city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, capital of Parma province, on the Parma River.
Parma (pop. 92.548), city in northeastern Ohio, a southern suburb of Cleveland.
Parmenides (b. c.515 B.C.), Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, founder of the Eleatic school.
Parnassus, or Parnassós, mountain 8,060 ft (2,430 m) high, in central Greece, north of Delphi and the Gulf of Corinth.
Parnell, Charles Stewart (1846–91), Irish nationalist, leader of the Irish Home Rule movement.
Parole, system of releasing a convict from prison before the end of a sentence.
Parotid gland See: Saliva.
Parotitis See: Mumps.
Parrington, Vernon Louis (1871–1929), U.S. educator and literary historian.
Parrish, Maxfield (1870–1966), U.S. artist, with an elegant, richly decorative style.
Parrot, popular name for about 320 species (family Psittacidae) of brightly colored birds distributed throughout the tropics.
Parrot fever See: Psittacosis.
Parry, Sir William Edward (1790–1855), British Arctic explorer.
Parsec, unit of distance in astronomy, equivalent to 3.26 light-years.
Parsis, or Parsees, religious group centered in Bombay and northwest India, followers of Zoroastrianism.
Parsley, biennial or perennial herb (Petroselinum crispum) of the carrot family, native to southern Europe.
Parsnip, carrotlike plant (Pastinaca sativa) native to Europe, grown for its edible, sweet-flavored, yellowish-white root.
Parsons, Talcott (1902–79), U.S. sociologist.
Partch, Harry (1901–74), U.S. composer who devised a special notation for his microtonal music, based on an octave divided into 43 intervals instead of the traditional 12.
Parthenon (Greek, “the virgin's place”), temple to Athena, on the Acropolis.
Parthia, ancient country of Asia, southeast of the Caspian Sea.
Particle accelerator, research tools used to accelerate electrically charged subatomic particles to high velocities. Physicists can focus the resulting particle beams to interact with othr particles or to break up atomic nuclei, in order to learn more about the fundamental nature of matter. Accelerators use electromagnetic fields to accelerate the particles in a straight line or in a circular or s…
Particle physics, study of subatomic particles (those particles that are smaller than atoms), including protons, neutrons, electrons, and a wide variety of much more unstable particles. Physicists now classify subatomic particles into 4 general classes. The smallest of these are the bosons, which have no mass. They include the photon, which is a packet of energy, and 8 types of gluons. The next cl…
Partridge, any of several game birds distributed through Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Pasadena (pop. 118,072), city in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains in southern California.
Pascal, Blaise (1623–62), French scientist and religious philosopher.
Pascal's law, in fluid mechanics, states that the pressure applied to an enclosed body of fluid is transmitted equally in all directions with unchanged intensity.
Paschal II, or Pascal II (d. 1118), pope, 1099–1118.
Pasqueflower, common name for spring-flowering anemones of the butter-cup family.
Passamaquoddy Bay, inlet of the Bay of Fundy between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada, at the mouth of St.
Passenger pigeon, extinct bird (Ectopistes migratorius) of the pigeon family, extremely common until the 19th century throughout most of North America.
Passion play, dramatic presentation of Jesus's suffering, death, and resurrection.
Passionflower, any of a group of tropical climbing plants (genus Passiflora) grown for the juice of their berries and for their ornate flowers.
Passover, or Pesach, major Jewish festival held for 8 days from the 14th to the 22nd of the month of Nisan (March/April).
Pasternak, Boris (1890–1960), Russian novelist, poet, and translator.
Pasteur, Louis (1822–95), French microbiologist and chemist.
Pasteurization, process for partially sterilizing milk, originally developed by Louis Pasteur for improving the storage qualities of wine and beer.
Pastoral, literature idealizing simple shepherd life, free of the corruption of the city.
Patagonia, dry plateau of about 300,000 sq mi (777,000 sq km) in southern Argentina, between the Andes Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.
Patchen, Kenneth (1911–72), U.S. poet, novelist, and painter who often illustrated his own work.
Patent, in law, governmental grant of the exclusive right to make, use, or sell an invention or grant others that right.
Patent medicine, or proprietary medicine, over-the-counter drugs that can be sold without prescription.
Paterson (pop. 137,970), city in northeastern New Jersey, seat of Passaic County.
Paterson, William (1745–1806), U.S. jurist and politician.
Pathans See: Pushtuns.
Pathology, study of the causes of diseases and of the changes they produce in the body.
Patmos, northernmost of the Dodecanese Islands of Greece, in the southeast Aegean Sea, near Turkey.
Paton, Alan Stewart (1903–88), South African writer.
Patriarch, Old Testament title for the head of a family or tribe, especially the Israelite fathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob's sons.
Patricians (Latin, “of the fathers”), in ancient Rome, members of the aristocratic class.
Patrick, Saint (c.385–461), Christian missionary, patron saint of Ireland.
Patterson, family of U.S. newspaper publishers and editors.
Patton, George Smith, Jr. (1885–1945), U.S. general whose ruthlessness and tactical brilliance as a tank commander in World War II won him the nickname Old Blood and Guts.
Paul (1901–64), king of Greece 1947–64, successor to his brother, George II.
Paul, name of 6 Italian popes. Paul III (Alessandro Farnese; 1468–1549), pope (1534–49), encouraged the first major reforms of the Catholic Reformation, recognized the Jesuit order, and convened the Council of Trent (1545). Paul IV (Giovanni Caraffa; 1476–1559), reigned (1555–59), increased the powers of the Inquisition, enforced segregation of the Jews in Rome, and int…
Paul, Alice (1885–1977), U.S. leader of the women's movement for equal rights.
Paul, Saint (d.A.D.64? or 67?), apostle to the Gentiles.
Paulding, James Kirke (1778–1860), U.S. writer and public official.
Pauli, Wolfgang (1900–58), Austrian-born U.S. physicist awarded the 1945 Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery of the exclusion principle, which stated that no 2 electrons in any atom could be in the same quantum state.
Pauling, Linus Carl (1901–94), U.S. chemist and pacifist, awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work on chemical bonding and the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize for his support of the campaign for nuclear disarmament.
Paulist Fathers, officially the Society of Missionary Priests of St.
Pavarotti, Luciano (1935– ), Italian tenor.
Pavlov, Ivan Petrovich (1849–1936), Russian physiologist and experimental psychologist.
Pavlova, Anna (1881–1931), Russian ballerina, considered the greatest of her time.
Pawnee, Native American tribe of Caddoan linguistic stock who inhabited river valleys of what is now Nebraska and Kansas (16th–19th centuries).
Pawpaw, or papaw, tree (Asimina triloba) of the custard-apple family, whose fruits have a creamy edible pulp.
Payne, John Howard (1791–1852), U.S. playwright and actor.
Payton, Walter (1954– ), U.S. football player.
Paz, Octavio (1914–98), Mexican poet and essayist who received the 1990 Nobel Prize for literature.
PCB See: Polychlorinated biphenyl.
Pea, herbaceous annual leguminous plant of the pulse family cultivated mainly for its edible seeds.
Peabody, Elizabeth Palmer (1804–94), U.S. educator, author, and publisher.
Peabody, George (1795–1869), U.S. financier and philanthropist.
Peace, condition that exists when nations or other groups are not fighting; the treaty that ends a war; harmony; tranquility.
Peace Corps, agency of the U.S. government established to help raise living standards in developing countries and to promote international friendship and understanding.
Peace River, largest branch of the Mackenzie River, in northwestern Alberta and eastern British Columbia, Canada.
Peach, tree (Prunus persica) of the rose family; also, its fuzzy-skinned fruit.
Peach moth (Grapholitha molesta), small brown moth whose larvae are major fruit tree pests.
Peach State See: Georgia.
Peacock, or peafowl, large ground bird of the pheasant family, native to east Asia; there are 2 genera, Pavo and Afropavo.
Peacock, Thomas Love (1785–1866), English novelist and poet, a satirist of contemporary intellectual trends.
Peale, family of early U.S. painters.
Peale, Norman Vincent (1898– ), U.S. clergyman.
Peanut, also known as goober or groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), low, bushy, leguminous plant cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions.
Pear, tree (Pyrus communis) of the rose family; also, the oval-shaped, soft-fleshed fruit produced by the tree.
Pearl, hard, rounded gem produced by certain bivalve mollusks, particularly pearl oysters (Pinctada) and the freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera).
Pearl Harbor, natural landlocked harbor on Oahu island, Hawaii.
Pearson, Karl (1857–1936), English mathematician best known for his pioneering work on statistics (e.g., devising the chi-square test), The Grammar of Science (1892), and his contributions to the philosophy of mathematics.
Pearson, Lester Bowles (1897–1972), Canadian diplomat, prime minister (1963–68), and winner of the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize for his mediation in the Suez crisis (1956).
Peary, Robert Edwin (1856–1920), U.S.
Peasants′ War, popular revolt (1524–26) that began in southwestern Germany and spread to many parts of Germany and Austria.
Peat, partially decayed plant material found in layers, usually in marshy areas.
Peat moss, moss (genus Sphagnum) that grows and accumulates on the surface of freshwater marshes in Canada, northern Europe, and Siberia.
Pecan, nut-bearing tree (Carya illinoensis) of the walnut family native to North America, a member of the genus that also includes the hickory.
Peccary, pig-like mammal of the southwestern United States and northern South America, inhabiting bushy thickets or forests.
Peckham, Rufus W. (1838–1909), U.S. jurist and associate justice of the Supreme Court (1896–1909), member of the New York supreme court (1883–86), and state court of appeals (1889–95).
Pecos River, originates in New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo mountains and flows southeast more than 800 mi (1,300 km) through New Mexico and Texas.
Pectin, substance found in many fruits, especially apples.
Pederson, Charles John (1904–89), U.S. chemist.
Pediatrics, branch of medicine concerned with the care of children.
Pedro, two emperors of Brazil.
Peel, Sir Robert (1788–1850), English statesman.
Peeper See: Tree frog.
Peerce, Jan (1904–84), U.S. opera singer and violinist.
Peewit See: Lapwing.
Pegasus, in Greek mythology, the winged horse, represented by a large constellation of stars whose most famous feature is the Great Square, picked out by four bright stars, one at each corner, appearing high in the sky during fall in the Northern Hemisphere.
Pegmatite See: Beryl; Feldspar.
Pei, I.M. (1917– ), Chinese-born U.S. architect of public buildings and urban complexes, e.g., the Mile High Center in Denver, Place Ville Marie in Montreal, the John Hancock Tower in Boston, and the National Gallery's East Wing in Washington, D.C.
Peiping See: Beijing.
Peirce, Charles Sanders (1839–1914), U.S. philosopher, a pioneer of pragmatism.
Peking See: Beijing.
Peking man (Sinanthropus pekinensis), prehistoric upright human of the species Homo erectus whose first fossil remains were discovered near Beijing, China (1929).
Pekingese, toy dog of Chinese origin with a flat, wrinkled face, protruding eyes, and bowed legs.
Pelé (Edson Arantes do Nascimento; 1940– ), Brazilian soccer player.
Pelée, active volcano in Martinique, an island in the French West Indies.
Peleliu, Pacific island of the Palau group, 500 mi (800 km) east of Mindanao, the Philippines.
Pelican, large aquatic bird (genus Pelecanus) found in warm climates.
Pelican flower (Aristolochia grandiflora), woody flowering vine of the birthwort family Aristolochiaceae.
Pellagra, vitamin deficiency disease (due to lack of niacin), often found in maize- or millet-dependent populations.
Pelopidas (410?–364 B.C.), military leader and politician instrumental in establishing Theban authority in mainland Greece.
Peloponnesian War (431–404 B.C.) war between the rival Greek city-states, Athens and Sparta, that ended Athenian dominance and marked the beginning of the end of Greek civilization.
Peloponnesus, peninsula forming the southern part of the Greek mainland, linked with the north by the Isthmus of Corinth.
Pelvis, lowest part of the trunk, bounded by the pelvic bones and in continuity with the abdomen.
Pemmican, concentrated food, used by Native Americans on journeys, consisting of buffalo meat, venison, or fish, dried and ground to paste, then mixed with fat and dried fruit and packed in hide bags.
Penal colony, overseas settlement in which convicts were isolated from society.
Penderecki, Krzysztof (1933– ), Polish composer.
Pendulum, rigid body mounted on a fixed horizontal axis that is free to rotate under the influence of gravity.
Penelope, in Greek mythology, wife of Odysseus and symbol of faithfulness and domestic virtue.
Penguin, the most highly specialized of all aquatic birds, with 17 species in the order Sphenisciformes, restricted to the southern hemisphere.
Penicillin, substance produced by a class of fungi that interferes with cell wall production by bacteria and was one of the first, and remains among the most useful, antibiotics.
Peninsula State See: Florida.
Peninsular Campaign, in the U.S.
Peninsular War (1808–14), part of the Napoleonic Wars, in which the French, fighting against the British, Portuguese, and Spanish, were driven out of the Iberian Peninsula.
Penis, male reproductive organ for introducing sperm and semen into the female vagina and uterus; its urethra also carries urine from the bladder. The penis is made of connective tissues and specialized blood vessels which become engorged with blood in sexual arousal and which cause the penis to become stiff and erect; this facilitates the intromission of semen in sexual intercourse. A protective …
Penn, John (1740–88), U.S.
Penn, William (1644–1718), English Quaker, advocate of religious tolerance, and founder of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania, state in the Middle Atlantic region of eastern United States; bordered by Lake Erie and New York to the north; the Delaware River (with New York and New Jersey on the other side) to the east; Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia to the south; and West Virginia and Ohio to the west. Pennsylvania has seven main land regions. The Erie Lowland, in the northwest corner, is a strip of fla…