1. The backpressure in an internal-combustion engine or a boiler.
2. Powder residue that is released upon automatic ejection of a spent cartridge or shell from a firearm.
3. Negative repercussions affecting a country whose government has undertaken a usually clandestine intelligence operation in another country.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.