British Library Cataloguing Data
The concise Oxford dictionary of current English.--8th ed.
1. English language--Dictionaries
I. Allen, R. E. (Robert Edward), 1944-423
ISBN 0-19-861243-5 thumb index
ISBN 0-19-861200-1 plain
X(1) n. (also x) (pl. Xs or X's) 1 the twenty-fourth letter of the
alphabet. 2 (as a Roman numeral) ten. 3 (usu. x) Algebra the
first unknown quantity. 4 Geom. the first coordinate. 5 an
unknown or unspecified number or person etc. 6 a cross-shaped
symbol esp. used to indicate position (X marks the spot) or
incorrectness or to symbolize a kiss or a vote, or as the
signature of a person who cannot write.
X(2) symb. (of films) classified as suitable for adults only.
°Formerly used in the UK to indicate that persons under 18 would
not be admitted; it was replaced in 1983 by 18, but is still
used in the US.
-x suffix forming the plural of many nouns in -u taken from French
(beaux; tableaux). [F]
xebec n. (also zebec, zebeck) a small three-masted Mediterranean
vessel with lateen and usu. some square sails. [alt. (after
Sp. xabeque) of F chebec f. It. sciabecco f. Arab. sabak]
xeno- comb. form 1 a foreign. b a foreigner. 2 other. [Gk xenos
strange, foreign, stranger]
xenogamy n. Bot. cross-fertilization. ЬЬxenogamous adj.
xenolith n. Geol. an inclusion within an igneous rock mass, usu.
derived from the immediately surrounding rock.
xenon n. Chem. a heavy colourless odourless inert gaseous element
occurring in traces in the atmosphere and used in fluorescent
lamps. °Symb.: Xe. [Gk, neut. of xenos strange]
xenophobe n. a person given to xenophobia.
n. a deep dislike of foreigners. ЬЬxenophobic adj.
n. a composite plant of the genus Xeranthemum, with dry
everlasting composite flowers. [mod.L f. Gk xeros dry +
xeric adj. Ecol. having or characterized by dry conditions. [as
XERO- + -IC]
xero- comb. form dry. [Gk xeros dry]
xeroderma n. any of various diseases characterized by extreme dryness of
the skin, esp. ichthyosis. [mod.L (as XERO-, Gk derma skin)]
xerograph n. a copy produced by xerography.
n. a dry copying process in which black or coloured powder
adheres to parts of a surface remaining electrically charged
after exposure of the surface to light from an image of the
document to be copied. ЬЬxerographic adj. xerographically adv.
adj. (of a plant) adapted to extremely dry conditions.
xerophyte n. (also xerophile) a plant able to grow in very dry
conditions, e.g. in a desert.
Xerox n. & v. --n. propr. 1 a machine for copying by xerography. 2
a copy made using this machine. --v.tr. (xerox) reproduce by
this process. [invented f. XEROGRAPHY]
Xhosa n. & adj. --n. 1 (pl. same or Xhosas) a member of a Bantu
people of Cape Province, South Africa. 2 the Bantu language of
this people, similar to Zulu. --adj. of or relating to this
people or language. [native name]
X-ray n. & v. (also x-ray) --n. 1 (in pl.) electromagnetic radiation
of short wavelength, able to pass through opaque bodies. 2 an
image made by the effect of X-rays on a photographic plate, esp.
showing the position of bones etc. by their greater absorption
of the rays. --v.tr. photograph, examine, or treat with X-rays.
ЬX-ray astronomy the branch of astronomy concerned with the
X-ray emissions of celestial bodies. X-ray crystallography the
study of crystals and their structure by means of the
diffraction of X-rays by the regularly spaced atoms of a
crystalline material. X-ray tube a device for generating X-rays
by accelerating electrons to high energies and causing them to
strike a metal target from which the X-rays are emitted.
[transl. of G x-Strahlen (pl.) f. Strahl ray, so called because
when discovered in 1895 the nature of the rays was unknown]