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Fusion is a process that results in the phase change of a substance from a solid to a liquid. The internal energy of a solid substance is increased (typically by the application of heat) to a specific temperature (called the melting point) at which it changes to the liquid phase. An object that has melted completely is molten.

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  • 1. a. The action or operation of fusing or rendering fluid by heat; the state of flowing or fluidity in consequence of heat. Also in phrases of easy, hard fusion: melted with ease or difficulty. watery fusion: the melting of certain crystals by heat in their own water of crystallization.

1555 EDEN Decades 327 To brynge it to fusion or meltynge. 1594 PLAT Jewell-ho. I. 14 Although some sortes of them [Ashes] bee of harder fusion or melting than others. 1646 SIR T. BROWNE Pseud. Ep. II. i. 51 Flints and pebbles are subject unto fusion. 1683 PETTUS Fleta Min. I. (1686) 5 Oars..of an easier Fusion. 1718 QUINCY Compl. Disp. 12 This Operation is..seldom perform'd without Melting or Fusion. 1807 T. THOMSON Chem. (ed. 3) II. 53 When exposed to the heat of boiling water, they undergo the watery fusion; that is to say, the water which they contain becomes sufficient to keep the barytes in solution. 1812-16 J. SMITH Panorama Sc. & Art I. 5 The texture of steel is rendered more uniform by fusion. 1832 G. R. PORTER Porcelain & Gl. 70 That degree of heat must be employed which will give perfect fusion to the glaze. 1878 HUXLEY Physiogr. 199 It [the earth] existed at one time in a state of fusion. fig. 1850 A. JAMESON Leg. Monast. Ord. (1863) 227 That wonderful religious movement which..threw men's minds into a state of fusion.

b. concr. A fused mass.

1823 J. BADCOCK Dom. Amusem. 138 The fusion is to be raised to the tempering height. 1863 F. A. KEMBLE Resid. in Georgia 61 Clouds, which appeared but a fusion of the great orb of light. 1882 T. COAN Life in Hawaii 330 Drawing out small lumps of the adhering fusion, they moulded it, before it had time to cool, into various forms.


  • 2. Path. and Phys. a. Thinning, attenuation (of the blood). Cf. FUSE v.2 1d. b. In etymological sense: A pouring; pouring forth (of the blood); ? = CIRCULATION. Obs.

1710 T. FULLER Pharm. Extemp. 54 A Decoction of Burdock..keeps the blood in a due mixture, and hinders its Fusion. 1725 N. ROBINSON Th. Physick 114 The Arteries, on whose Forces the Division and Fusion of the Blood entirely depend.


  • 3. a. The union or blending together of different things (whether material or immaterial) as if by melting, so as to form one whole; the result or state of being so blended. Const. into, with.

1776 ADAM SMITH W.N. I. iv. (1869) I. 24 By fusion of the parts they can easily be reunited. 1830-3 LYELL Princ. Geol. (1875) II. III. xxxviii. 353 There seems to have been a partial fusion of the mammalia at some remote period. 1831 LAMB Elia Ser. II. Ellistoniana, That harmonious fusion of the manners of the player into those of everyday life. a1834 COLERIDGE Shaks. Notes (1849) 10 The fusion of the sensual into the spiritual. 1841 MYERS Cath. Th. IV. l. 434 A fusion of nations..and an assimilation of races. 1855 MILMAN Lat. Chr. (1864) IV. VII. vi. 206 This absolute fusion of the religion of peace with barbarous warfare. 1856 EMERSON Eng. Traits, Race Wks. (Bohn) II. 22 Everything English is a fusion of distinct and antagonistic elements. 1875 MAINE Hist. Inst. xiii. 398 He argues for a fusion of law and equity. 1880 BASTIAN Brain 28 Fusions of ganglia may occur during the development of some animals. 1882 VINES Sachs' Bot. 582 The embryo-sac is formed by the fusion of two cells equivalent to spore-mother-cells.


b. Politics. The coalition (of parties or factions).

1845 DISRAELI Sybil (1863) 22 Political conciliation became the slang of the day, and the fusion of parties the babble of clubs. 1861 MAY Const. Hist. (1863) I. i. 8 A new reign was favorable..to the fusion of parties. 1879 GREEN Read. Eng. Hist. vi. 33 Their union was the result of no direct policy of fusion.

attrib. 1864 GREELEY Amer. Confl. I. xxii. 328 The refusal of part of the Douglas men to support the Fusion ticket (composed of three Douglas, two Bell, and two Breckinridge men). 1896 Daily News 27 July 7/5 Great difficulties are inevitable in making a fusion ticket in the various States.


c. (i) Psychol. and Physiol. [tr. G. verschmelzung (J. F. Herbert Psychol. als Wiss. (1824) I. 200).] A blending together of separate simultaneous sensations into a new complex experience or qualitative perception; the process whereby a succession of similar stimuli produces a continuous response or the sensation of a continuous stimulus.

1892 W. JAMES Text-bk. Psychol. 57 The so-called Fusion of Sensations in Hearing. 1903 G. F. STOUT Groundwork Psychol. 45 They [sc. sensations] may combine..like the bitterness, sweetness, and aroma of a cup of coffee... The first of these modes of union is called fusion or blending... Fusion is characterised by the absence of any definite order among the constituents of the sensation complex. 1911 E. B. TITCHENER Text-bk. Psychol. II. 351 The classical instance of the qualitative perception is the tonal fusion. 1946 D. P. C. LLOYD in J. F. Fulton Howell's Textbk. Physiol. (ed. 15) ii. 37 The frequency of stimulation necessary to promote full mechanical fusion of the contraction response is..different for different muscles. 1952 H. H. EMSLEY Visual Optics (ed. 5) I. i. 29 The final meticulous adjustment of the eyes is carried out under the compelling desire for fusion of the two uniocular images into a single perceptual image in the cortex.


(ii) Psychiatry. [tr. G. mischung (Freud Das Ich und das Es (1923) iv. 50).] In Freudian theory, the union and balance of life and death instincts which exist in normal persons.

1927, 1946 [see DEFUSION]. 1953 Hibbert Jrnl. July 332 Freud noted how masochism and sadism both arise from fusion of the life and death instincts. Ibid., This peculiar fusion, with the death instinct preponderating, lies at the base of the desires..for sexual self-mutilation.

Nuclear Science

d. Nuclear Sci. The formation of a heavier, more complex nucleus by the coming together of two or more lighter ones, usu. accompanied by the release of relatively large amounts of energy; also, the utilization of this process as a source of energy.

1947 Sci. News Let. 7 June 358 (heading) Atom fusion gives energy. 1952 Economist 22 Nov. 541/1 This may have been a hybrid bomb, part atom, part hydrogen, but enough to prove that the scientists have solved the problem of releasing energy by nuclear fusion. 1957 Rev. Mod. Physics XXIX. 565/1 It has been suggested..that the fusion of helium plays an important role in energy generation and element synthesis in the red-giant stage of the star's evolution. 1958 Engineering 21 Feb. 227/3 Fission and fusion, at least in the initial stages, may well be complementary, both being necessary for a properly integrated nuclear power programme. 1964 R. H. BAKER Astron. (ed. 8) xvi. 479 The fusion of hydrogen into helium in the cores of these more massive stars may be principally by means of the carbon cycle. 1968 M. S. LIVINGSTON Particle Physics i. 5 Another special type of interaction is the fusion of lightweight nuclei such as H2..into the more stable He4 nuclei plus extra neutrons, with the release of several million electron volts per particle. 1969 J. DOUGALL tr. Born's Atomic Physics (ed. 8) x. 356 The only example of a man-made thermonuclear fusion process is in the form of the hydrogen bomb, where the high temperatures are produced by means of an initiating atomic (i.e. fission) explosion.


  • 4. attrib. and Comb., as fusion energy, reaction, reactor, weapon; fusion bomb, a bomb in which the energy released is derived from an uncontrolled process of nuclear fusion; spec. a hydrogen bomb; (critical) fusion frequency [tr. G. verschmelzungsfrequenz (J. v. Kries 1903, in Zeitschr. f. Psychol. u. Physiol. d. Sinnesorgane XXXII. 115)] Physiol. = flicker-fusion frequency; fusion nucleus Biol., a cell nucleus that results from the fusion of two or more nuclei; fusion welding, a welding technique in which the metal is melted and joined without the application of pressure; so fusion weld n., -welded ppl.

1950 Sci. Amer. Mar. 13/2 The designer of a fusion bomb clearly would start with a fission bomb of uranium or plutonium, the explosion of which would produce the high temperatures required for the thermonuclear fusion reaction. 1955 Sci. News XXXVIII. 8 He [sc. Dr. Bhabha] predicted that a way would be found ‘for liberating fusion energy in a controlled manner within the next two decades’.

1924 J. P. C. SOUTHALL tr. Helmholtz's Treat. Physical Optics II. 374 Porter compared the fusion frequencies for a series of different intensities of illumination. 1970 T. CORNSWEET Visual Perception xiv. 393 If the frequency of flashing of a light is gradually increased from a low rate, there will be some frequency for which the light will just look steady.., and this is called the critical fusion frequency, or CFF.

1904 Ann. Bot. XVIII. 345 The fusion-nucleus then increased in size. 1928 E. B. WILSON Cell (ed. 3) v. 400 The pronuclei conjugate immediately after the entrance of the sperm and apparently fuse completely to form a fusion-nucleus. 1941 JOHANNSEN & BUTT Embryol. Insects ii. 9 The zygote, or fusion nucleus, in which the diploid number of chromosomes has been restored. 1950 F. GAYNOR Encycl. Atomic Energy 129 Fusion reactions go on constantly in the interiors of the stars..and form the basic principle of the hydrogen bomb. 1957 O. FRISCH in Atlantic Oct. 76 The fusion reaction - as far as we can see at present - will have to be operated at a temperature of many million degrees, and the production, control, and containment of such temperatures..is a stupendous problem.

1955 Time 25 July 62/3 If a fusion reactor works with reasonable efficiency it would have great advantages. 1955 Bull. Atomic Sci. Mar. 94/1 The presence of fission or fusion weapons in another major conflict seems inevitable. 1965 H. KAHN On Escalation vi. 96 ‘Clean’ fusion weapons, leaving little or no residual fallout.

1930 Engineering 14 Mar. 364/1 With fusion welds, there is no difficulty in obtaining metal stronger than the plate. Ibid., It has been customary to express the strength of a fusion-welded butt joint as a percentage of the plate strength. 1959 B.S.I. News Nov. 7/2 Fusion-welded pressure vessels. 1918 Nature 11 Apr. 105/2 The oxy-acetylene flame is most generally used for fusion welding, owing to its high temperature. 1958 Engineering 18 Apr. 501/1 The equipment includes an a.c./d.c. set for fusion welding under argon..and a resistance welding machine.


  • 5. Music in which elements of more than one popular style are combined, esp. having jazz as a component; cf. jazz-rock at JAZZ n. and adj. Compounds 1b. Freq. attrib. or as the second element in compounds.

[1957 N.Y. Times 20 Jan. II. 17/1 His Variation No. 1 on God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen is delightfully imaginative jazz, a brilliant fusion of various musical materials in a valid, tasteful, and completely jazz-oriented whole.] 1965 N.Y. Times 28 Nov. XIII. 9/5 Some observers of American popular music trends believe that the ultimate ‘fusion music’, the first truly national popular music we will have, will be largely composed of country music with rock 'n' roll rhythmic and folk elements. 1973 Jazz Jrnl. Sept. 18/2 The failures tended to be found where the forthright mood of jazz clashed with the more delicate form of the other style, as was the case with Indo-jazz fusions. 1977 Rolling Stone 16 June 60/3 White, fond of writing suites in emulation of classical composers, continues to ignore his real strength, which is fusion-funk. 1978 Washington Post 12 May (Weekend Suppl.) 30/3 Washington now boasts a wealth of clubs{em}everything from traditional rhythm 'n' blues sounds to jazz fusion styles. 1981 R. CHRISTGAU Rock Albums of 70s 252 The top musicians in fusion are gathered by the man who made it all possible to show the genre off aesthetically. 1988 G. LEES Meet Me at Jim & Andy's x. 187 Paquito was with one of the world's greatest fusion bands, Irakere. 2001 Q July 127/5 Pioneering 1960s fusion sitarist Ananda Shankar.


  • 6. Fusion cuisine n. orig. U.S. a style of cookery which blends ingredients and methods of preparation from different countries, regions, or ethnic groups; food cooked in this style.

[1983 Time (Nexis) 12 Sept., Some practitioners of nuova cucina make no secret of the fact that they are aiming for a fusion of French and Italian culinary techniques.] 1988 Nation's Restaurant News (Nexis) 9 May, The restaurant's French-Asian fusion is apparent in a dessert trio of flavored creme brulees{em}ginger, chocolate mint, and a mandarin orange served in sake cups. 1998 Grocer 22 Aug. 44/2 What would typify fusion is to have a pasta dish, but to make it with Asian herbs. So you would use basil, but it would be Thai basil. 2001 Evening Standard 21 Sept. (ES Mag.) 49/1 Suddenly, anyone who could lay their hands on a fistful of lemon grass, a couple of kangaroo fillets, a bucket of coconut broth and a bunch of tamarillos was ready to open a fusion restaurant.

1986 United Press Internat. Newswire (Nexis) 15 Apr., The dishes Allison creates enjoy an enticing blend of ethnicity, one more subtle and intriguing than any of the influences considered separately... ‘We've always been eating what I call *fusion cuisine, and it's going on more rapidly today than ever before.’ 1993 Calgary Herald 24 Mar. D1 A wonderful fusion cuisine supper featuring tiger prawns in green curry sauce with mascarpone polenta. 2000 P. JOHNSON & C. O'BRIEN World Food: New Orleans 162 The global flavors of fusion cuisine and the essentialist simplicity of new American cuisine have led to exciting high-end interpretations of classic dishes that aren't bound by the rules of tradition.

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