Webster's new World Dictionary, Concise Edition (1960) lying open on a desk

Adiabatic: Wednesday Words

No, we’re not talking about blood sugar today.

Adiabatic refers to a process that does not gain heat from or lose heat to anything external to the system it’s taking place in. Are you lost yet?

The word comes from Greek: a– (not) + dia (through) + batos (passable) = impassable.

Adiabatic Air Currents

I discovered this word while investigating the causes of wind.

Hot air contains many molecules in a small space. As it rises, those molecules spread out, and the temperature of that air mass decreases along with the pressure. No heat is lost to another system; the air simply cools as a result of decreased pressure.

The opposite is also true. Cool air falls, and molecules are squished closer together. The increase in pressure leads to an increase in temperature, with no external source needed to add heat to the system.

Adiabatic Hearts

We use temperature words often to describe people as hot-headed or cold-hearted, and neither is a compliment! Both adjectives apply to a person’s character over time, which remains relatively stable. No heat is lost from the hothead, and no warmth is gained for the cold heart!

Here are a few verses describing what happens for these folks:


People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness (Proverbs 14:29 NLT).

A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them (Proverbs 15:18).

Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty. If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again (Proverbs 19:19).

Ice-Cold, Hard-Hearted

Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him (Ephesians 4:18).

Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy (Romans 1:28-31).

There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you (James 2:13).

Diabatic Living

Let’s not remain closed systems, unaffected by the love of God! Let’s live close to him, letting his love flow in to fill our minds and hearts to overflowing for everyone around us.

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them (1 John 4:16).

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people (2 Timothy 2:24).

God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy (Matthew 5:7).

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace (Ephesians 4:2-3).

Live loved and loving today, friends!

Check out my Wednesday Words vocabulary expansion project, and join in the fun!

Write a post using the word “adiabatic,” then leave a link to your post in the comments below. I’d love to read what you write!

Spring is around the corner, and I’ve got a free printable spring cleaning checklist for you!

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