1. any of various apparatus for heating, especially for heating water or the air in a room.
  2. Electronics. the element of a vacuum tube that carries the current for heating a cathode.
  3. Slang. a pistol, revolver, or other firearm.


  1. any device for supplying heat, such as a hot-air blower, radiator, convector, etc
  2. US slang a pistol
  3. electronics a conductor carrying a current that indirectly heats the cathode in some types of valve

c.1500, of persons, agent noun from heat. Of devices, from 1660s. Baseball slang meaning “fastball” is attested by 1985.

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