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ylem (I-lum) noun

A form of matter hypothesized by proponents of the big bang theory to have existed before the formation of the chemical elements.

[Middle English, universal matter, from Old French ilem, from Medieval Latin hylem, accusative of hyle, matter, from Greek hule.]

"Alpher and Gamow focused on the point when the universe had cooled to a state consisting of radiation and matter, ylem, Greek for the primordial stuff of life." Joseph D'Agnese, The last Big Bang man left standing, Discover, Jul 1999.

This week's theme: words that make one say, I didn't know there was a word for that.


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is. -Chuck Reid

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