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birefringence the splitting of a light wave into two perpendicular waves that have different speeds, as in some crystals.
bireme a galley of ancient times, with two tiers of oarsmen on each side.
biretta in the Roman Catholic and some Anglican churches, a stiff, square cap with three or four raised ridges, worn by clergymen and varying in color according to their rank.
birl to rotate (a floating log) by running in place on its exposed surface, as in a contest among lumberjacks.
birling a game or contest of skill between two lumberjacks, won by whoever maintains his balance longest while balancing on and rotating a floating log.
birr1 a whirring sound. [3 definitions]
birr2 the chief monetary unit of Ethiopia, equaling one hundred cents.
birth the process or fact of being born. [4 definitions]
birth certificate an official document recording the time and place of a person's birth and the names of the parents.
birth control control of the number and timing of children born, esp. through the use of contraceptive devices or drugs.
birthday the calendar day and month of one's birth, which is often celebrated as it occurs every year, or the day of the inception of something such as a nation.
birthmark a mark or mole on the skin present from birth.
birthplace the place of birth or origin, of a person or of an idea, movement, or the like.
birthrate the number of births in a specified place or group per unit of time, usu. expressed as a quantity per thousand of the total specified population.
birthright a right, privilege, or possession, such as property, to which one is entitled by birth.
birthstone a precious or semiprecious jewel traditionally associated with the month of one's birth.
biscuit an unsweetened bread in the shape of a small cake, made with a generous amount of shortening and leavened with baking powder or baking soda instead of yeast. [4 definitions]
bisect to cut or split into two equal parts. [3 definitions]
bisexual of or pertaining to both sexes. [5 definitions]
Bishkek the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
bishop a clergyman who holds a high position in certain Christian churches and is often in charge of a diocese or of a number of churches. [2 definitions]