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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Viscosity \Vis*cos"i*ty\, n. [Cf. F. viscosit['e], LL. viscositas.]

  1. The quality or state of being viscous.

  2. (Physics) A property possessed by a viscous fluid, being a resistance to the forces causing a fluid to flow, caused by interactions between the molecules of the fluid and between the fluid and the walls of the conduit through which it moves; also, a measure of such a property.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 15c., from Old French viscosite (13c.) or directly from Medieval Latin viscositatem (nominative viscositas), from Late Latin viscosus (see viscous).


n. 1 (context uncountable English) The state of being viscous. 2 (context countable physics English) A quantity expressing the magnitude of internal friction in a fluid, as measured by the force per unit area resisting uniform flow. 3 (context uncountable psychology English) A tendency to prolong interpersonal encounters.


n. resistance of a liquid to sheer forces (and hence to flow) [syn: viscousness]

Viscosity (imaging software)

Viscosity is also an out-of-print image and animation editing utility published by Sonic Foundry. It can work with PNG, GIF, JPG/JPEG, BMP, AVI and its native VSC format.

Viscosity (programming)

In object oriented programming, viscosity refers to the ease at which a developer can add design-preserving code to a system. If it is easier to add a hack than it is to add code that fits into the program's design, then the system has high viscosity. If it is easy to add new code to the program while maintaining the design, then the program has low viscosity.

The name is a metaphor for viscosity in liquids.

Viscosity (disambiguation)

Viscosity (commonly perceived as "thickness", or resistance to pouring) is the measure of the resistance of a fluid to deform under either shear stress or extensional stress.

Viscosity can also refer to:

  • A cognitive dimension for the design of notations measuring resistance to change.
  • Viscosity (programming) - a concept in object oriented programming, which refers to the ease at which a developer can add design-preserving code to a system.
  • Viscosity (imaging software) - an out-of-print image and animation editing utility published by Sonic Foundry.

The viscosity of a fluid is a measure of its resistance to gradual deformation by shear stress or tensile stress. For liquids, it corresponds to the informal concept of "thickness"; for example, honey has a much higher viscosity than water.

Viscosity is a property arising from collisions between neighboring particles in a fluid that are moving at different velocities. When the fluid is forced through a tube, the particles which compose the fluid generally move more quickly near the tube's axis and more slowly near its walls; therefore some stress (such as a pressure difference between the two ends of the tube) is needed to overcome the friction between particle layers to keep the fluid moving. For a given velocity pattern, the stress required is proportional to the fluid's viscosity.

A fluid that has no resistance to shear stress is known as an ideal or inviscid fluid. Zero viscosity is observed only at very low temperatures in superfluids. Otherwise, all fluids have positive viscosity, and are technically said to be viscous or viscid. In common parlance, however, a liquid is said to be viscous if its viscosity is substantially greater than that of water, and may be described as mobile if the viscosity is noticeably less than water. A fluid with a relatively high viscosity, such as pitch, may appear to be a solid.

Usage examples of "viscosity".

Our disk model uses a quasi-linear viscosity parameterization that does not extrapolate well into the impending regime of extreme mass transfer.

Plus, aerodynamicists realized that air has a certain viscosity, and if you were the size of a bug, the air would seem thick.

I recall offhand, Tywood has published papers on the effect of liquid viscosity on the wings of the Rayleigh line, on higher-orbit field equations, and on spin-orbit coupling of two nucleons, but his main work is on quadrupole moments.

A mixture of sand and fine brown adobe clays and gray caliche, it had the texture, viscosity, and crippling powers of a tar pit.

Arlo perused prices, hefted weights, compared viscosities, his thoughts meanwhile cascading, plunging, avalanching down corridors of cunning.

With the drag on her keel reduced to a small percentage of its normal coefficient of viscosity, the ship began to accelerate to speeds that left her escorts standing still by comparison.

Viscosity is the gooeyness of a substance, though there are more scientific definitions.

The low molecular weight of gases causes them to evaporate first, but their viscosity is quite low and carries the heavier silicone oil into very thin spaces.

He had told no one, not even his uncle, that he had refused to abandon his theory, spending years researching the various viscosities of different dyes and ranges of UV light.

Instead of offering the same product nationally, however, it sells two different viscosities, having found that Pennsylvanians, for some regional reason, prefer their syrup thicker than other Americans.

Anastasia directed, and closing my eyes at her instruction, I explored with my fingertips all her surfaces and apertures, comparing their textures, temperatures, moistnesses, firmnesses, viscosities, and the like.

For example, the operator needs to control the viscosity gradient by appropriate settings of the water coolers along the process line.