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What Does Exothermic Mean?

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Exothermic relates to a chemical reaction in which heat is emitted. The word can also be used in association with the external warmth of the body. "Exothermic" as a word is of tremendous significance in the world of thermodynamics, a branch of study which deals with heat and energy conversion. It refers to any chemical reaction that releases energy by way of heat. The process is opposite to endothermic energy, where heat is absorbed in a chemical process instead of being released.

The word "exothermic" is derived from the Greek words "exo," implying "outside" and "thermic" implying "to heat." Exothermic reaction is usually associated with reactions where chemical energy is converted to thermal energy, generating heat in the process. Some of the reactions which involve the release of heat include combustion and respiration.

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