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Heat (n.) A force in nature which is recognized in various effects, but especially in the phenomena of fusion and evaporation, and which, as manifested in fire, the sun's rays, mechanical action, chemical combination, etc., becomes directly known to us through the sense of feeling. In its nature heat is a mode if motion, being in general a form of molecular disturbance or vibration. It was formerly supposed to be a subtile, imponderable fluid, to which was given the name caloric.