- A device that monitors temperature and automatically maintains it at certain levels. In a human, a tiny part of the brain called the hypothalamus, located behind the eyes, serves as the thermostat. It can warm the body by causing it to shiver and cool the body by causing it to perspire. The hypothalamus also regulates hunger, thirst, sex drive and other body activities. "Thermostat" is derived from the Greek "therme" (heat) and "statos" (standing, stationary). Other words formed from "therme" include "thermometer" (a device for measuring temperature) and "thermotherapy" (the use of heat to treat disease).
* * *An apparatus for the automatic regulation of heat, as in an incubator. SYN: thermoregulator. [thermo- + G. statos, standing]
* * *ther·mo·stat 'thər-mə-.stat n1) an automatic device for regulating temperature (as by controlling the supply of gas or electricity to a heating apparatus)2) a piece of apparatus (as a constant-temperature chamber) regulated by a thermostatther·mo·stat·ic .thər-mə-'stat-ik adjther·mo·stat·i·cal·ly -i-k(ə-)lē advthermostat vt, -stat·ed -.stat-əd or -stat·ted; -stat·ing or -stat·ting to provide with or control the temperature of by a thermostat <a thermostated centrifuge>
* * *ther·mo·stat (thurґmo-stat) [thermo- + -stat] a device interposed in a heating system by which the temperature can be automatically maintained between certain levels.
Medical dictionary. 2011.