Engineering Dictionary

Enter a word below:

Search also in: IT Dico. | Accounting Dico. | Medical Dico. | Plants Dico. | Business Dico. | Engineering Dico. | Water Purification & Filtration Dico.

An alphabetical listing of General terms and items.

Background Noise   Dico Tools
The total noise floor from all sources of interference in a measurement system, independent of the presence of a data signal.

Backup   Dico Tools
A system, device, file or facility that can be used as an alternative in case of a malfunction or loss of data.

Bail   Dico Tools
(1) The outer line of a fortification. (2) The wall surrounding the outer courtyard of a castle, or the wall separating the courtyards of a castle. (3) The courtyard or bailey of a castle. See bailey.

Bailey   Dico Tools
The enclosed space or court between the keep and the curtain wall or palisade surrounding it. In `motte and bailey ' castles, the bailey was used as a protective enclosure for the domestic and working buildings associated with the donjon. In later fortifications the bailey was kept clear so as to remove any cover for attackers crossing the bailey to the next line of defence. (Fr. baille, palisade, enclosure; from L. ballium).

Bailey Walk   Dico Tools
See allure, wall walk.

Bailey Wall   Dico Tools
See curtain wall.

Baliqs   Dico Tools
Turkish small fortified towns.

Balistraria   Dico Tools
A crossbow loophole consisting of a small cross in the wall of a fortification, used by crossbowman to defend their position. Also known as a arbalestina. See crosslet slit, loop.

Ballistarium   Dico Tools
A platform used to support a onager or ballistae which were used to defend a Roman fort.

Bandwidth   Dico Tools
A symmetrical region around the set point in which proportional control occurs.

Banquette   Dico Tools
The platform of earth within the parapet, high enough to enable defenders to fire over the crest of the parapet while standing. (Teut. bench).

Barbacan, Barbican   Dico Tools
An outwork consisting of an outer bailey provided with flanking towers, which was used to defend the main gate of a; fortified town, castle or the approaches of a bridge situated before a fortification. Normally projecting from the main entrance, the shape of which was dictated by the site and the design used. One type consisted of two walls parallel to each other projecting from the main gateway with another gateway situated at the other end; the first gate was flanked by towers which were provided with battlements, arrow slits and machicolations. Also known as a forecourt. See forework. (O.Fr. barbacane).

Barbette, Barbe, Barbet, Barquette   Dico Tools
An earthen terrace or platform situated inside the parapet or a rampart, upon which cannon were mounted so that they could be fired over a wall rather than through a gun port. A battery in this situation is called a 'battery en barbe ( or barbet). (L. barba, beard).

Barbkin, Barmkin   Dico Tools
(1) A walled enclosure surrounding a pele tower. (2) The courtyard attached to a tower house. See peel tower, pele tower, tower house.

Barquette   Dico Tools
See barbette.

Bartisan, Bartizan   Dico Tools
A turret which projected at an angle from a tower, a parapet or near a gateway. Used as a watch tower or a defensive position by utilizing flanking fire. Bartizans were also used as strengthening buttresses or simply as decoration on later castles or castellated residences. See flanking turret, machicolated turret, machicoulis.

Bartizaned   Dico Tools
Provided with bartizans.

Bascule Bridge   Dico Tools
A kind of drawbridge used to defend a gateway. The bridge was moved using a counterpoise system, where a counter weight was moved into a pit, thus bringing the bridge up to fill the gateway. See drawbridge. (Fr. bascule, see-saw).

Base   Dico Tools
The line connecting the salient angles of a bastioned front. (L. bassus, short).

Bashura   Dico Tools
The bent gates used in Bagdad in the 8th century. See bent entrance.

Back to top

Basic   Dico Tools
A high-level programming language designed at Dartmouth College as a learning tool. Acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

Basic Transportation Reference   Dico Tools
The basic transportation section of the U.S. Government Test Specification MIL-STD-810D, Method 514.3, Paragraph I-3.2.1, Page 514.3-5. Basic transportation defines the test profiles that have been defined for equipment that is shipped as secured cargo; by land, by sea or by air. The test levels are based upon land transport stress levels because these are higher than stresses imposed by air or sea transportation environments.

Bastide   Dico Tools
(1) A type of small fort. (2) A fortified town which was common to the south-west of France, dating from the 12th and 13th centuries.

Bastille, Bastille   Dico Tools
Originally, a kind of siege tower, later the term was used to refer to a tower which had the curtain walls and the flanking towers at the same height, permitting the rapid deployment of troops and cannon for the defence of any threatened sector. The lowering of the towers to the same height as the curtain wall was a development brought about by the effect of cannon fire on more lofty towers.

Bastion   Dico Tools
A work projecting from the curtain wall of a fortification which commanded the foreground and the outworks. Designed to provide flanking fire to adjacent curtains and bastion. Bastion has been used to refer to the flanking towers of a castle as well as the arrow headed bastions of the Italian bastion trace. See arrow headed bastion, curtain tower, mural tower. (L. bastia, build).

Bastioned Flank   Dico Tools
The salient angle of a bastion and the opposite flank.

Bastioned Trace   Dico Tools
The geometrical system of arrow headed bastions and ramparts, which were used to defend fortifications dating from the 16th century. See arrow headed bastion, bastion.

Bastionet   Dico Tools
A small type of bastion attached to the salient angle of a bastion, so as to increase the amount of flanking fire which could be used to flank the ditch. See bastion.

Bastle   Dico Tools
A defensible stone farmstead unique to Britain, dating from the 16th to the early 17th century. Designed to defend the occupants and their livestock from raiders. It consisted of two storeys

Bastle House   Dico Tools
A larger version of the bastle. See bastle.

Batardeau   Dico Tools
A wall which traversed a ditch of a fortification, equipped with a sluice gate which was used to regulate the height of the water in the ditch, but was rended impassable because of its knife edge apex.

Batter, Battering   Dico Tools
(1) A wall with a receding slope from the ground upwards, narrowing at the top, is said to be battered. See plinth, spur, talus. (2) To use a siege engine or artillery to batter or strike repeatedly against a fortifications wall or gate to make a breach. (L. batu, beat).

Battered Base, Battered Plinth   Dico Tools
The projection at the base of a wall which sloped outwards. Also known as battering. See plinth, spur, talus.

Battered Wall   Dico Tools
A wall of a fortification provided with battering. See plinth, spur, talus.

Battering   Dico Tools
See batter.

Battery   Dico Tools
A work consisting of an epaulment or breastwork which was used to protect a gun or mortar emplacement, when used for guns embrasures were made in the parapet so that the guns could be fired through them.

Battlement   Dico Tools
The upper part of a fortifications wall from which defenders defended their position. The battlement or parapet were usually provided with crenels and merlons, the crenels were the openings and the merlons were the solid uprights. This arrangement allowed the defenders to fire upon attackers through the crenels while obtaining some protection from the returned enemy fire behind the merlons. See parapet. (O.Fr. batailler, movable defences).

Battlemented   Dico Tools
Provided with a battlement or parapet, which usually were divided at regular intervals by crenels and merlons. Also know as crenellated or embattled. See battlement.

Baud   Dico Tools
A unit of data transmission speed equal to the number of bits (or signal events) per second; 300 baud = 300 bits per second.

Bawn   Dico Tools
(1) A fortification which was used in Ireland to defend a house, or a cattle enclosure, which consisted of a surrounding stone wall. (2) An Irish word used to refer to a curtain wall. (Ir. b?hun, enclosure).

Back to top

Bay   Dico Tools
A section of trench that lies between two adjacent traverses and was used as a passing place.

BCD, Buffered   Dico Tools
Binary-coded decimal output with output drivers, to increase line-drive capability.

BCD, Parallel   Dico Tools
A digital data output format where every decimal digit is represented by binary signals on four lines and all digits are presented in parallel. The total number of lines is 4 times the number of decimal digits.

BCD, Serial   Dico Tools
A digital data output format where every decimal digit is represented by binary signals on four lines and up to five decimal digits are presented sequentially. The total number of lines is four data lines plus one strobe line per digit.

BCD, Three-State   Dico Tools
An implementation of parallel BCD, which has 0, 1 and high-impedance output states. The high-impedance state is used when the BCD output is not addressed in parallel connect applications.

BCS   Dico Tools
  Business Controlling System: It is an Enterprise Resources Planning System (ERP System), it is created and developed by NSD Company. This system is intended for a small and Medium Enterprises,  it was developed based on a best business practice. It is a windows platform system using MS SQL Server as Data Base. The applications included on the standard package of NSD BCS are:   1- Human Resources  2- Financial 3- Sales and Distribution including a point of sale system (POS)  4- Project Management 5- Logistics (Procurement, Warehouses Management, Inventory...)..........

BCS   Dico Tools
  Business Controlling System: It is an Enterprise Resources Planning System (ERP System), it is created and developed by NSD Company. This system is intended for a small and Medium Enterprises,  it was developed based on a best business practice. It is a windows platform system using MS SQL Server as Data Base. The applications included on the standard package of NSD BCS are: 1- Human Resources  2- Financial 3- Sales and Distribution including a point of sale system (POS)  4- Project Management 5- Logistics (Procurement, Warehouses Management, Inventory...)..........  

Beam   Dico Tools
a rigid, usually horizontal, structural element

Beam Bridge   Dico Tools
a simple type of bridge, composed of horizontal beams supported by vertical posts

Bearing   Dico Tools
A part which supports a journal and in which a journal revolves.

Beat Frequency   Dico Tools
Beat frequencies are periodic vibrations that result from the addition and subtraction of two or more sinusoids. For example, in the case of two turbine aircraft engines that are rotating at nearly the same frequency but not precisely at the same frequency; Four frequencies are generated:(f1) the rotational frequency of turbine one, (f2) the rotational frequency of turbine two, (f1 + f2) the sum of turbine rotational frequencies one and two, and (f1 - f2) which is the difference or "beat" frequency of turbines one and two. The difference of the two frequencies is the lower frequency and is the one that is "felt" as a beat or "wow" in this case.

Bedrock   Dico Tools
The solid rock layer beneath sand or silt

Bend   Dico Tools
(v.) to curve; bending occurs when a straight material becomes curved; one side squeezes together in compression, and the other side stretches apart in tension

Bends   Dico Tools
(n.) see caisson disease

Bent Entrance   Dico Tools
An entrance of a fortification involving one or more sharp changes in direction. If an enemy force gained entry they had to then turn because of the shape of the entry and this exposed their unshielded side to the fire of the defenders. See clavicula, masugata mon.

Bergfried   Dico Tools
(1) A single defensive tower characteristic of German speaking lands, the chief function of which was as a watch tower and as a final refuge, rarely were they used as permanent living quarters. The entrance was situated on the first floor. (2) A watch tower which was used to cover the main lines of approach to a castle, normally associated with a hohenburg.

Berm   Dico Tools
A narrow path that runs between the ditch and the parapet, and when it is only made of turf its purpose is to prevent soil falling into the ditch.

Beryllia   Dico Tools
BeO (Beryllium Oxide) A high-temperature mineral insulation material; toxic when in powder form.

Besiege   Dico Tools
To invest, or to lay siege to a place or fortification. See mine, sap.

Best Fit Straight Line (BFSL)   Dico Tools
A line midway between two parallel straight lines enclosing all output vs. pressure values.

Back to top

Beta Ratio   Dico Tools
The ratio of the diameter of a pipeline constriction to the unconstricted pipe diameter.

BIAS Current   Dico Tools
A very low-level DC current generated by the panel meter and superimposed on the signal. This current may introduce a measurable offset across a very high source impedance.

Binary   Dico Tools
Refers to base 2 numbering system, in which the only allowable digits are 0 and 1. Pertaining to a condition that has only two possible values or states.

Binary Coded Decimal (BCD)   Dico Tools
The representation of a decimal number (base 10, 0 through 9) by means of a 4 bit binary nibble.

BIOS   Dico Tools
Acronym for basic input/output system. The commands used to tell a CPU how it will communicate with the rest of the computer.

Bipolar   Dico Tools
The ability of a panel meter to display both positive and negative readings.

Bit   Dico Tools
Acronym for binary digit. The smallest unit of computer information, it is either a binary 0 or 1.

Blackbody   Dico Tools
A theoretical object that radiates the maximum amount of energy at a given temperature, and absorbs all the energy incident upon it. A blackbody is not necessarily black. (The name blackbody was chosen because the color black is defined as the total absorption of light energy.)

Blind Gun Port   Dico Tools
A gun port consisting of a single round hole without a sighting slit, behind this was a much larger rectangular space widening towards the inside wall, big enough to operate the gun. The gun ports were designed to allow defenders to operate a small gun mounted on a stand, or clamped to a wooden bed, but the space soon filled up with smoke after a few firings because of the lack of ventilation. See gun loop, gun port, loop.

Blind Machicolations   Dico Tools
Machicolations which were built without openings which were used as decoration, machicoltions became defunct due to the introduction and perfection of artillery in siegecraft, dating from the late 14th century. See bracket, bracketing, false machicolation, mock machicolation.

Block House   Dico Tools
A fortification used for seaward defence provided with; shot deflecting battlements, hand gun ports and a single embrasure for a long range cannon, used during the 16th century.

Blunt   Dico Tools
To remove a salient angle by the construction of a parapet between two salient works..

BNC   Dico Tools
A quick disconnect electrical connector used to inter-connect and/or terminate coaxial cables.

Body Of The Place   Dico Tools
Either the buildings of a fortification or the works surrounding them, but generally when the body of the place is constructed it refers to fortifying the place by enclosing the fortification with curtains and bastions.

Boiling Oil Holes   Dico Tools
See murder holes.

Boiling Point   Dico Tools
The temperature at which a substance in the liquid phase transforms to the gaseous phase; commonly refers to the boiling point of water which is 100 C (212 F) at sea level.

Bonnet   Dico Tools
A small triangular work consisting of two faces which was situated in front and parallel to the salient angle of a bastion or a ravelin, which provided additional defence against enfilade fire.

Borg   Dico Tools
A term used to refer to a fortress. (N.).

Boroshiki Tenshu   Dico Tools
The earliest form of Japanese keep or tenshu, consisting of a multi-storied timber framed tower with a belvedere or observation tower set on top of the roof ridge. See tenshu.

Borough   Dico Tools
See burh.

Back to top

Boteras   Dico Tools
A type of buttress.

Bottom   Dico Tools
A round disk in which holes had been drilled or punched, rods were then inserted to form a basket called a gabion, these gabions when filled with earth were used in the construction of earthworks.

Box Machicolation   Dico Tools
A machicolation developed in the Middle East around the 12th century. Each machicolation was built out from the curtain wall separately from its neighbour, and was enclosed at the top, the top was below the level of the wall walk above. This type of machicolation were also at times provided with an arrow slit. See machicolation.

Boyau, Boyeaux   Dico Tools
A trench used by a besieging force, also known as a zigzag, used for the purpose of communication in such situations as; a trench from the rear of a battery to the magazine, or a trench from the approaches towards a besieged place. See approaches, sap, zig zag.

BPS   Dico Tools
Bits per second.

Brace   Dico Tools
(n.) a structural support; (v.) to strengthen and stiffen a structure to resist loads

Bracket, Bracketing   Dico Tools
(1) A wooden or masonry projection near the top of a wall which was used to support a hoarding or a bretache. See console, corbel. (2) Machicolations became redundant due to the effect of artillery on castles, so the openings were closed but the brackets remained, later castellated residences used them as decoration. See blind, false, and mock machicolations.

Braie   Dico Tools
A low defensive platform which was used to impede an enemies assault on the lower walls of a fortification. See bray, faussebraie.

Brattice Work   Dico Tools
The brattice or hourding which was used to defend the area at the base of a castles walls. See brattice.

Brattice, Brattish, Brettice   Dico Tools
(1) A small stone gallery built out from a castles parapet or wall on corbels but lacking foot boards. Used to reduce the dead ground below at the base of the wall by allowing defenders to drop missiles through the hole onto the enemy below. A very similar construction was used as a latrine and was usually suspended of the moat, and was known as a garderobe. (2) A wooden gallery or balcony built out from a parapet of a castle, used to reduce the dead ground at the base of the walls by allowing the defenders to drop missiles through holes in the floor and fire arrows at the enemy attacking the walls. Later, such wooden galleries were replaced by stone machicolations because of their susceptibility to fire. See hoard. (O.Fr. breteshe, L. bretachia).

Bray   Dico Tools
A low wall constructed in front of the ramparts, which was designed to keep the enemy at a distance from the ramparts. See braie.

Breach   Dico Tools
A break made in a fortification's defences by an enemy's; artillery, mine or other siege technique or equipment.

Breakdown Voltage Rating   Dico Tools
The dc or ac voltage which can be applied across insulation portions of a transducer without arcing or conduction above a specific current value.

Breast Height   Dico Tools
The inner slope of a rampart or parapet.

Breastwork   Dico Tools
An earthwork thrown up to breast height which provided protection to defenders firing over the crest of the work while in a standing position.

Breteche, Brettice   Dico Tools
See brattice:

Bridge (flying)   Dico Tools
See flying bridge, motte.

Bridge (fortified)   Dico Tools
A bridge provided with defences such as a tower or towers equipped with machicolations, arrow slits and a porticullis.

Bridge Pit   Dico Tools
A stone lined pit located before a gatehouse which was covered by the drawbridge when in the open position, and when the drawbridge was closed the pit was exposed and formed a impediment to attackers.

Bridge Resistance   Dico Tools
See Input impedance and Output impedance.

Back to top

Brisure   Dico Tools
(1) A rampart or parapet or part of either that does not follow the general direction of a work, of which it is a part. (2) Where the line of the curtain wall is broken to allow an expansion of the space for the guns in the flank of a bastion. (Fr. briser, to break).

Briton Machicolation   Dico Tools
A machicolation used during the 14th century which was developed in Brittany, built out on consoles which sharpened to a point to give defenders a wider field of fire than the machicolations built on the straight consoles. See machicolation.

Brittle   Dico Tools
Characteristic of a material that fails without warning; brittle materials do not stretch or shorten before failing

Broch, Brogh, Brough   Dico Tools
A dry stone circular tower of the late Iron Age, common in the north of Scotland, very rare in the south. The surrounding was built solid at the ground level, while higher up the wall it divided into a number of chambers and galleries. The small doorway through the base of the wall was easily defensible. The design of the broch showed a need to build upwards rather than outwards, so at to reduce the size of the perimeter so that fewer people were needed to defend it. (N. borg. fortress).

BTU   Dico Tools
British thermal units. The quantity of thermal energy required to raise one pound of water at its maximum density, 1 degree F. One BTU is equivalent to .293 watt hours, or 252 calories. One kilowatt hour is equivalent to 3412 BTU.

Buckle   Dico Tools
to bend under compression

Buffer   Dico Tools
1. A storage area for data that is used to compensate for a speed difference, when transferring data from one device to another. Usually refers to an area reserved for I/O operations, into which data is read, or from which data is written.2. Any substance or combination of substances which, when dissolved in water, produces a solution which resists a change in its hydrogen ion concentration on the addition of an acid or alkali.

Buffer Capacity (B)   Dico Tools
A measure of the ability of the solution to resist pH change when a strong acid or base is added.

Buheradas   Dico Tools
A balcony similar to a machicolation used in Andalusian fortifications. (Spanish)

Bulb (Liquid-in-Glass Thermometer)   Dico Tools
The area at the tip of a liquid-in-glass thermometer containing the liquid reservoir.

Bulwark   Dico Tools
(1) A fortification. (2) A considerable defence work of earth or some other material. (3) An earthwork in the form of a rampart, similar to a breastwork. Various forms exist and they are as follows

Burg   Dico Tools
(1) A German castle. (2) A town or house with a fortified perimeter. (G. castle).

Burgen   Dico Tools
See burgus.

Burgh   Dico Tools
The Scottish word for borough.

Burgus   Dico Tools
(1) A Roman watch-tower, which was the fore runner of the bergfried, which were erected on the Germanic border of the Roman Empire. (2) A walled suburb of a castle. See burg, burh.

Burh   Dico Tools
A fortified Anglo-Saxon town which was usually surrounded by a ditch an earthen ramparts topped by a palisade. They were often built on former Roman or earlier fortifications, situated at the ends of estuaries or near fords and bridges crossing major waterways. Instigated by King Alfred the Great (871-899 A.D.) and carried on by his successors, were used to protect trade and culture from attacks, and as bases for launching assaults against Viking raiders.

Burj (Qubba Or Qalca)   Dico Tools
A small tower in the mountains of the Iberian peninsula (also used by the Mamluks) with large storage facilities.

Burn-In   Dico Tools
A long term screening test (either vibration, temperature or combined test) that is effective in weeding out infant mortalities because it simulates actual or worst case operation of the device, accelerated through a time, power, and temperature relationship.

Burst Pressure   Dico Tools
The maximum pressure applied to a transducer sensing element or case without causing leakage.

Burst Proportioning   Dico Tools
A fast-cycling output form on a time proportioning controller (typically adjustable from 2 to 4 seconds) used in conjunction with a solid state relay to prolong the life of heaters by minimizing thermal stress.

Back to top

Bus   Dico Tools
Parallel lines used to transfer signals between devices or components. Computers are often described by their bus structure (i.e., S-100, IBM PC).

Buttress   Dico Tools
a support that transmits a force from a roof or wall to another supporting structure

Buttress Dam   Dico Tools
a gravity dam reinforced by structural supports

Byte   Dico Tools
The representation of a character in binary. Eight bits.

Back to top