atom, molecule, particle, corpuscle, mote, speck

(noun) (nontechnical usage) a tiny piece of anything


(noun) (physics and chemistry) the smallest component of an element having the chemical properties of the element

Source: WordNet® 3.1



atom (plural atoms)

(chemistry, physics) The smallest possible amount of matter which still retains its identity as a chemical element, now known to consist of a nucleus surrounded by electrons. [from 16th c.]

(history of science) A hypothetical particle posited by Greek philosophers as an ultimate and indivisible component of matter. [from 15th c.]

(now generally regarded figuratively) The smallest, indivisible constituent part or unit of something. [from 17th c.]

(philosophy) In logical atomism, a fundamental fact that cannot be further broken down.

(historical) The smallest medieval unit of time, equal to fifteen ninety-fourths of a second. [from 10th c.]

A mote of dust in a sunbeam. [from 16th c.]

A very small amount; a whit. [from 17th c.]

(computing, programming, Lisp) An individual number or symbol, as opposed to a list; a scalar value. [from 20th c.]

(mathematics, algebra) A non-zero member of a Boolean algebra that is not a union of any other elements. Or, a non-zero member of a Boolean lattice that has only zero below it. [from 20th c.]

(mathematics, set theory) An element of a set that is not itself a set; an urelement. [from 20th c.]

(usually capitalised as "Atom") A member of an age group division in hockey for ten- to 11-year-olds.


See also atom

• (small amount): see also modicum.


• Amto, Mato, Mota, TMAO, atmo, moat, mota, toma

Source: Wiktionary

At"om, n. Etym: [L. atomus, Gr. atome. See Tome.]

1. (Physics) (a) An ultimate indivisible particle of matter. (b) An ultimate particle of matter not necessarily indivisible; a molecule. (c) A constituent particle of matter, or a molecule supposed to be made up of subordinate particles.

Note: These three definitions correspond to different views of the nature of the ultimate particles of matter. In the case of the last two, the particles are more correctly called molecules. Dana.

2. (Chem.)

Definition: The smallest particle of matter that can enter into combination; one of the elementary constituents of a molecule.

3. Anything extremely small; a particle; a whit. There was not an atom of water. Sir J. Ross.

At"om, v. t.

Definition: To reduce to atoms. [Obs.] Feltham.

Source: Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary 1913 Edition


Word of the Day

2 March 2024


(verb) move to a better position in life or to a better job; “She ascended from a life of poverty to one of great renown”

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