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A.Word.A.Day--mach

Pronunciation RealAudio

mach (makh) noun, Also mach number

A number indicating the ratio of the speed of an object to the speed of sound in the surrounding medium. So a plane moving at twice the speed of sound is traveling at Mach 2.

[After Ernst Mach, physicist and philosopher (1838-1916).]

"While the world knew one version of Chuck (Yeager) -- a World War II fighter pilot, first man to surpass Mach 1 speed at 700 mph, a Vietnam combat commander and central character in the 1983 movie 'The Right Stuff' -- Cody knew another." Sam Amick; A Young Yeager Tests His Limits; Sacramento Bee; Nov 28, 2003.

"Zebras and giraffes cross our path at a gallop, anxious to get out of the way as the jeep hits about 20 mph, which feels like Mach speed in an open-air vehicle. Tamara Lytle; Orlando Sentinel; Breathtaking Botswana; Nov 2, 2003.

This week's theme: words from aviation.

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Presents, I often say, endear absents. -Charles Lamb, essayist and critic (1775-1834)

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