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kaolin a very fine white clay used to make porcelain and finishes for paper and textiles.
kaon in physics, a meson that is positive, negative, or neutral and that is the product of a high-energy collision; K meson.
kaph the name of the eleventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
kapok the silky, fibrous down in the seeds of various tropical trees, used for insulation and padding.
Kaposi's sarcoma a cancer of connective tissue that is marked by painless external lesions and sometimes affects internal organs, occurring in esp. serious form among people with AIDS.
kappa1 the name of the tenth letter of the Greek alphabet.
kappa2 in Japanese mythology, a monkey-sized river imp having fish scales, a turtle's shell, a bird's or monkey's face, and a depression on the top of its head that holds the liquid that endows it with superhuman strength, said to prey on travelers.
karakul one of an Asian sheep breed having dark, curly wool. [2 definitions]
karaoke a form of musical entertainment originating in Japan in which prerecorded instrumental music from popular songs is played while a person performs live vocals through a microphone.
karat a unit of measure for the purity of gold equal to one twenty-fourth part of pure gold.
karate a method of weaponless self-defense, based on strategically placed hard blows with the elbows or the edges of hands or feet.
Karl Marx a German political philosopher and economist who founded modern socialism (b.1818--d.1883).
karma in Hinduism and Buddhism, the principle that one's actions determine one's future in this life or in other incarnations. [3 definitions]
karst an area where limestone predominates, characterized by ravines, sinks, and caverns caused by underground streams.
kart a small, lightweight, gas-powered, four-wheeled vehicle used for racing or recreation; go-cart.
Kasbah see Casbah.
kasha cracked and hulled grain, esp. buckwheat, cooked into a mush and served with meat or in soup.
Kashmir a southwestern Asian region between Afghanistan and Tibet, the object of conflicting territorial claims by India and Pakistan; Jammu and Kashmir.
Kashmiri a native of Kashmir, or a descendant thereof; Kashmirian. [2 definitions]
kashruth (Hebrew) the dietary laws for Jews. (See kosher.)
Katmandu the capital of Nepal.