state of matter
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state of matter(stāt)
One of the principal conditions in which matter exists. Matter is traditionally divided into three states—solid, liquid, and gas. Ice, liquid water, and steam, for example, are three states of matter of the same substance. The electrically neutral condition known as plasma is often considered a fourth state of matter.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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|Noun||1.||state of matter - (chemistry) the three traditional states of matter are solids (fixed shape and volume) and liquids (fixed volume and shaped by the container) and gases (filling the container); "the solid state of water is called ice"|
chemical science, chemistry - the science of matter; the branch of the natural sciences dealing with the composition of substances and their properties and reactions
chemical phenomenon - any natural phenomenon involving chemistry (as changes to atoms or molecules)
phase, form - (physical chemistry) a distinct state of matter in a system; matter that is identical in chemical composition and physical state and separated from other material by the phase boundary; "the reaction occurs in the liquid phase of the system"
liquid state, liquidity, liquidness, liquid - the state in which a substance exhibits a characteristic readiness to flow with little or no tendency to disperse and relatively high incompressibility
solid state, solidness, solid - the state in which a substance has no tendency to flow under moderate stress; resists forces (such as compression) that tend to deform it; and retains a definite size and shape
gas, gaseous state - the state of matter distinguished from the solid and liquid states by: relatively low density and viscosity; relatively great expansion and contraction with changes in pressure and temperature; the ability to diffuse readily; and the spontaneous tendency to become distributed uniformly throughout any container
plasma - (physical chemistry) a fourth state of matter distinct from solid or liquid or gas and present in stars and fusion reactors; a gas becomes a plasma when it is heated until the atoms lose all their electrons, leaving a highly electrified collection of nuclei and free electrons; "particles in space exist in the form of a plasma"
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