TOEFL IBT – Energy

Vocabulary is promordial in order to improve your TOEFL score. Remember, Preparation is the key to succeed !

This vocabulary will be useful for satisfying your curiosity, for adding to your English vocabulary, or especially for any English exams you may take. Here we will look at the most commonly used words having to do with energy, along with their French translations.


to take up or receive by chemical or molecular action

The liquid absorbs heat and evaporates at one end of the pipe.



fuel, such as wood or ethanol, derived from biomass

This new method for producing biofuel won a 2011 Earth Award.

le biocarburant


organic matter, especially plant matter, that can be converted into fuel

It is commonly made from biomass such as corn or sugarcane.

la biomasse


carbon dioxide or other carbon compounds that are emitted into the atmosphere and cause rising temperatures

The lungs may fill with fluid and carbon dioxide builds up.

le carbone

carbon footprint

the amount of carbon compounds emitted into the atmosphere by the activities of an individual, a company, etc.

She is a leader in the reduction of the carbon footprint.

l’empreinte carbone

chemical energy

the energy in chemical bonds

The plants also add some chemical energy to the fuel from biological molecules.

l’energie chimique


the act or process of burning

After the engine warms up, the combustion is more efficient.

la combustion


process where energy is transferred by the movement and colliding of molecules

Another form of cooling is caused by a process called conduction.

la conduction


process where energy is transferred by flow and circulation

It seems that body heat creates a convection current around us.

la convection


the ability to do work or cause change

Her energy output has to rival that of a nuclear plant.


fossil fuel

any combustible organic material, such as oil, coal, or natural gas, derived from the remains of former life

The company also has sold its fossil fuel plants in New England.

le combustible fossile


the force that resists movement between two objects

The Teflon reduces the friction of the skin against the sock.

la friction


of or relating to the internal heat of the earth

Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth.


greenhouse effect

an atmospheric heating phenomenon caused by the increased quantities of carbon dioxide and other gases in the air

The gas traps solar heat within Earth’s atmosphere in a greenhouse effect.

l’effet de serre


noting or pertaining to the action of hot, aqueous solutions or gases within or on the surface of the earth

The associated geothermal energy is used in numerous hydrothermal power plants.



unit used to measure energy

The energy required for defibrillation ranges from 240 to 720 joules.

le joule


a unit of power, equal to 1000 watts

One kilowatt is enough to power ten 100-watt lightbulbs.

le kilowatt

kinetic energy

energy in motion

The neutron has no initial kinetic energy since it is at rest.

l’énergie cinétique

natural gas

a mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons that accumulates in porous sedimentary rocks

Fueling systems for liquid natural gas are also much more expensive.

le gaz naturel

nuclear power

power derived from nuclear energy

The assets include 75 hydropower plants and three nuclear power plants.

l’énergie nucléaire


not requiring utilities such as electricity, water, etc.

Self-sustainability is closely related to living off-the-grid.

sans connexion

potential energy

stored energy or energy at rest

The act of stretching a balloon fills it with potential energy.

l’énergie potentielle

power lines

lines used for conducting electric power

Outside, power lines sagged under the weight of glistening ice.

les lignes électriques

power plant

the buildings used for the generation of power

Mercury from power plants settles in waterways and accumulates in fish.

la centrale électrique

renewable energy

any naturally occurring source of energy, such as biomass, solar, wind, tidal, wave, and hydroelectric power

Renewable energy remains much more costly than the cheapest fossil fuel power.

l’énergie renouvelable


a natural or artificial place where water is collected and stored for use

Reservoirs are rising because of several heavy snows in the mountains.

le réservoir

solar power

heat radiation from the sun converted into electrical power

I’m at my home, using power from my own solar power system.

l’énergie solaire

static electricity

a stationary electric charge built up on an insulating material

Put a heavy plastic mat under your chair to reduce static electricity.

l’électricité statique

thermal energy

energy that comes from heat

Solar thermal energy is harnessed by collecting direct heat from the sun.

l’énergie thermique


the standard unit of potential difference and electromotive force in the International System of Units (SI)

The cash register is powered by a 12-volt battery.

le volt


the standard unit of power in the SI, equivalent to one joule per second

They deliver up to 120 watts of power over four channels.

le watt

wind power

power derived from wind

In recent years, wind power and fish farming have both grown quickly.

l’énergie éolienne

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