23-letter words containing a, b, s, e, n, t

  • abstract interpretation — (theory)   A partial execution of a program which gains information about its semantics (e.g. control structure, flow of information) without performing all the calculations. Abstract interpretation is typically used by compilers to analyse programs in order to decide whether certain optimisations or transformations are applicable. The objects manipulated by the program (typically values and functions) are represented by points in some domain. Each abstract domain point represents some set of real ("concrete") values. For example, we may take the abstract points "+", "0" and "-" to represent positive, zero and negative numbers and then define an abstract version of the multiplication operator, *#, which operates on abstract values: *# | + 0 - ---|------ + | + 0 - 0 | 0 0 0 - | - 0 + An interpretation is "safe" if the result of the abstract operation is a safe approximation to the abstraction of the concrete result. The meaning of "a safe approximation" depends on how we are using the results of the analysis. If, in our example, we assume that smaller values are safer then the "safety condition" for our interpretation (#) is a# *# b# <= (a * b)# where a# is the abstract version of a etc. In general an interpretation is characterised by the domains used to represent the basic types and the abstract values it assigns to constants (where the constants of a language include primitive functions such as *). The interpretation of constructed types (such as user defined functions, sum types and product types) and expressions can be derived systematically from these basic domains and values. A common use of abstract interpretation is strictness analysis. See also standard interpretation.
  • allowance for bad debts — Allowance for bad debt is a provision made in a company's accounts which recognizes that some debts will not be able to be collected.
  • barrister and solicitor — an attorney who is licensed to prepare cases and argue them in court in the common-law provinces of Canada and in New Zealand and Australia.
  • batten down the hatches — to use battens in nailing a tarpaulin over a hatch on a ship to make it secure
  • battered child syndrome — the array of physical injuries exhibited by young children who have been beaten repeatedly or otherwise abused by their parents or guardians.
  • battered woman syndrome — the array of physical and psychological injuries exhibited by women (battered women or battered wives) who have been beaten repeatedly or otherwise abused by their partners or spouses.
  • be (flat) on one's back — to be ill, bedridden, or helpless
  • be meat and drink to sb — If you say something is meat and drink to someone, you mean that they enjoy it very much.
  • be the making of sb/sth — If something is the making of a person or thing, it is the reason that they become successful or become very much better than they used to be.
  • beat seven bells out of — to give a severe beating to
  • bellefontaine neighbors — a city in E Missouri.
  • bereavement counselling — the provision of advice for bereaved people to help them cope with their grief, sometimes given by charities and support groups
  • bet one's bottom dollar — to bet one's last dollar; bet everything one has
  • beyond reasonable doubt — if something is proved beyond reasonable doubt, it is legally accepted as being true
  • bilinear transformation — Möbius transformation.
  • bird-meertens formalism — (theory, programming)   (BMF) (Or "Squiggol") A calculus for derivation of functional programs from a specification. It consists of a set of higher-order functions that operate on lists including map, fold, scan, filter, inits, tails, cross product and function composition.
  • bite someone's head off — If someone speaks or replies to you angrily, and you think they are being unfair or reacting too strongly, you can say that they bite your head off.
  • blood, sweat, and tears — If you refer to something as involving blood, sweat, and tears, you mean that it is a very hard thing to do and requires a lot of effort.
  • branch coverage testing — (programming)   A test method which aims to ensure that each possible branch from each decision point (e.g. "if" statement) is executed at least once, thus ensuring that all reachable code is executed.
  • business administration — a program of studies at a college or university covering finance, management of personnel, etc., designed to prepare a person for a career in business
  • cheyne-stokes breathing — alternating shallow and deep breathing, as in comatose patients
  • chi-square distribution — a continuous single-parameter distribution derived as a special case of the gamma distribution and used esp to measure goodness of fit and to test hypotheses and obtain confidence intervals for the variance of a normally distributed variable
  • citizens' advice bureau — an independent charity where the public can obtain free, confidential information and advice on an extensive range of civil, consumer, and legal matters
  • civil aeronautics board — the former federal agency (1938–85) that regulated airline fares and assigned routes. Abbreviation: CAB, C.A.B.
  • combinatorial chemistry — the use of chemical methods to generate all possible combinations of chemicals
  • come to sb's assistance — If you come to someone's assistance, you take action to help them.
  • computer-based training — Computer-Aided Instruction
  • concertgebouw orchestra — an Amsterdam orchestra, established in 1888, that has been independent of the Concertgebouw hall since World War II
  • database query language — (database)   A language in which users of a database can (interactively) formulate requests and generate reports. The best known is SQL.
  • diamondback rattlesnake — either of two large, highly venomous rattlesnakes of the genus Crotalus, having diamond-shaped markings on the back.
  • digital subscriber line — (communications, protocol)   (DSL, or Digital Subscriber Loop, xDSL - see below) A family of digital telecommunications protocols designed to allow high speed data communication over the existing copper telephone lines between end-users and telephone companies. When two conventional modems are connected through the telephone system (PSTN), it treats the communication the same as voice conversations. This has the advantage that there is no investment required from the telephone company (telco) but the disadvantage is that the bandwidth available for the communication is the same as that available for voice conversations, usually 64 kb/s (DS0) at most. The twisted-pair copper cables into individual homes or offices can usually carry significantly more than 64 kb/s but the telco needs to handle the signal as digital rather than analog. There are many implementation of the basic scheme, differing in the communication protocol used and providing varying service levels. The throughput of the communication can be anything from about 128 kb/s to over 8 Mb/s, the communication can be either symmetric or asymmetric (i.e. the available bandwidth may or may not be the same upstream and downstream). Equipment prices and service fees also vary considerably. The first technology based on DSL was ISDN, although ISDN is not often recognised as such nowadays. Since then a large number of other protocols have been developed, collectively referred to as xDSL, including HDSL, SDSL, ADSL, and VDSL. As yet none of these have reached very wide deployment but wider deployment is expected for 1998-1999.
  • distributive bargaining — a negotiation process aimed at reaching a compromise agreement over how resources may be allocated between the parties
  • embarrassment of riches — If you say that someone has an embarrassment of riches, you mean that they have so many good things that these things are a problem.
  • fall between the cracks — to fail to fit into a given agenda or program
  • fall between two stools — If someone has fallen between two stools, they are unable to decide which of two courses of action to take and as a result they have not done either of them successfully.
  • fish in troubled waters — any of various cold-blooded, aquatic vertebrates, having gills, commonly fins, and typically an elongated body covered with scales.
  • german baptist brethren — Church of the Brethren.
  • get down to brass tacks — discuss essentials
  • give something a rub-up — to smooth or polish something
  • have bats in the belfry — to be mad or eccentric; have strange ideas
  • horsehair-blight fungus — a fungal parasite, Marasmius equicrinis, that causes a disease of certain tropical plants, especially tea.
  • hortense de beauharnais — Beauharnais, Eugénie Hortense de.
  • hunter-killer submarine — a submarine designed and equipped to pursue and destroy enemy craft
  • incontestability clause — a clause in a life-insurance or health-insurance policy stating that the insurer cannot contest the policy after a stated period of time.
  • installable file system — (operating system)   (IFS or "File System Driver", "FSD") An API that allows you to extend OS/2 to access files stored on disk in formats other than FAT and HPFS, and access files that are stored on a network file server. For example an IFS could provide programs running under OS/2 (including DOS and Windows programs) with access to files stored under Unix using the Berkeley fast file system. The other variety of IFS (a "remote file system" or "redirector") allows file sharing over a LAN, e.g. using Unix's Network File System protocol. In this case, the IFS passes a program's file access requests to a remote file server, possibly also translating between different file attributes used by OS/2 and the remote system. Documentation on the IFS API has been available only by special request from IBM. An IFS is structured as an ordinary 16-bit DLL with entry points for opening, closing, reading, and writing files, the swapper, file locking, and Universal Naming Convention. The main part of an IFS that runs in ring 0 is called by the OS/2 kernel in the context of the caller's process and thread. The other part that runs in ring 3 is a utility library with entry points for FORMAT, RECOVER, SYS, and CHKDSK.
  • interfascicular cambium — cambium that develops between the vascular bundles.
  • irish christian brother — Brother of the Christian Schools (def 2).
  • juvenile-onset diabetes — diabetes (def 3).
  • keep sb at arm's length — If you keep someone at arm's length, you avoid becoming too friendly or involved with them.
  • lock, stock, and barrel — a device for securing a door, gate, lid, drawer, or the like in position when closed, consisting of a bolt or system of bolts propelled and withdrawn by a mechanism operated by a key, dial, etc.

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