Long and short describe the length property.
Big and small describe the size property.

What property do heterogeneous and homogeneous generally describe (not limited to chemistry)?

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  • The words can only apply to a plurality if things, and are indicative of whether the items in the group bear similarity or difference to one another. – WS2 Apr 13 '18 at 7:50
  • Is there a single term to describe "whether the items in the group bear similarity or difference to one another"? – Sean Apr 13 '18 at 8:00
  • 1
    I think similarity is exactly what you want: "the state or fact of being similar". As an analogy, long means "lots of length" and short means "not much length", so homogeneous means "lots of similarity" and heterogeneous means "not much similarity". – JonLarby Apr 13 '18 at 9:36
  • Granularity or continuity, depending which end you are viewing it from. – Phil Sweet Apr 13 '18 at 12:47
  • Whatever glob of stuff you want to describe. – Hot Licks Apr 13 '18 at 12:50

Composition [ODOL]

1 mass noun The nature of something's ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up.
‘the social composition of villages’

For a better discussion of homogeneous/ heterogeneous composition see:
Homogeneity and heterogeneity [WP]

Homogeneity and heterogeneity are concepts often used in the sciences and statistics relating to the uniformity in a substance or organism. A material or image that is homogeneous is uniform in composition or character (i.e. color, shape, size, weight, height, distribution, texture, language, income, disease, temperature, radioactivity, architectural design, etc.); one that is heterogeneous is distinctly nonuniform in one of these qualities.1
(emphasis mine)


The two words denote the property of 'likeness' and 'analogy'. The collective etymology is from Ancient Greek 'genos', 'race' or 'kind', 'homo' and 'hetero' respectively signifying 'likeness' and 'difference'.

Thus, in non-chemical usage, if you were to exclaim 'all x are homogeneous', then this elicits that the all x are alike in property.



the quality of being the same as or very similar to something else: She was struck by the sameness of the houses. - cambridge.org

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