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butterfly effect

Definition:

the phenomenon whereby a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere, for example, a butterfly flapping its wings in Rio de Janeiro might eventually change the weather in Chicago

Class:

phenomenon noun (natural phenomena)

Plural:

butterfly effects

Original source:

Princeton WordNet

Etymology:

from the theory that a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world ...
(Source: Collins Dictionary)  [more]

Definition references  (+images)

Wikipedia:

Butterfly effect

the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical ... (41 of 1731 words, 3 images)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Butterfly effect

Butterfly effect (disambiguation)

a metaphor for sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory. It may also refer to: In film and television: The Butterfly Effect, a 2004 film | "The Butterfly Effect" (Heroes), an episode of Heroes | Two episodes of Ugly Betty: "The... (40 of 168 words, 10 definitions)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Butterfly effect (disambiguation)

Collins Dictionary:

butterfly effect

the idea, used in chaos theory, that a very small difference in the initial state of a physical system can make a significant difference to the state ... (27 of 310 words)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/butterfly-effect

Oxford Dictionary:

butterfly effect

(with reference to chaos theory) the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere (21 of 62 words)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/butterfly-effect

Merriam-Webster:

butterfly effect

a property of chaotic systems (as the atmosphere) by which small changes in initial conditions can lead to large-scale and unpredictable variation in ... (23 of 43 words)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/butterfly effect

Random House Dictionary:

butterfly effect

a cumulatively large effect that a very small natural force may produce over a period of time. (17 of 19 words)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/butterfly-effect

Wiktionary:

butterfly effect | butterfly effects [plural]

The technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory. (12 of 13 words)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/butterfly effect

Britannica Encyclopedia:

event [occurrence]

notion that became of singular importance in the philosophical speculation about relativity physics. The best-known analyses are those of the ... (20 of 71 words)

www​.britannica​.com​/E​Bchecked​/topic​/197129​/event

Macmillan British Dictionary:

upshot | the upshot of something

"the upshot (of something)": the result of a process or an event (12 of 41 words, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/upshot

Cambridge Dictionary:

the upshot | upshot

something which happens as a result of other actions, events or decisions (12 of 29 words, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/the-upshot

American Heritage Dictionary:

upshot

The final result; the outcome. | The central idea or point; gist. (11 of 28 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/upshot

New World Dictionary:

upshot

the conclusion; result; outcome (4 of 15 words, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/upshot

Encarta Dictionary:

butterfly effect

the supposed influence exerted on a dynamic system by a small change in initial conditions. chaos theory (17 of 54 words)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861686923​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Collins Dictionary:

butterfly effect

First use: 20th century

Origin: from the theory that a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world might ultimately cause a hurricane in another part of the world

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/butterfly-effect

Oxford Dictionary:

butterfly effect

First use: 1980s

Origin: the notion in chaos theory that a butterfly fluttering in Rio de Janeiro could change the weather in Chicago

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/butterfly-effect

Encarta Dictionary:

butterfly effect

Origin: After a 1979 scientific paper "Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?" by Edward N. Lorenz

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861686923​/definition​.html  [offline]

Audio reference

Google Dictionary:

butterfly effect | butterfly effects [plural]

Audio: English pronunciation of "butterfly effect"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=butterfly effect

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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