Note, this is similar to this question, but I already know the existence of both words, my issue is I want to know if there is a word that is a superset of both words, another xxx-"dynamic" if you will.

Words like "streamlined" don't appear to work for the context I'm trying to use this in, because streamlined isn't specific to "physical properties that make some object better at moving through a medium than another object of the same class". Streamlined can refer to the cost, number of features or other efficiency related features that don't specifically have to do with efficiency of shape for going through a medium, ie "streamlined process" or "streamlined factory" or "streamlined features".

I'm thinking that colloquially I may be able to appropriately use Aerodynamic to describe both, but I'm not sure if there is a better word.

Situation where this word would be applied:

You switched out the basic chassis with the [hydro/aerodynamic word replacement] chassis on your car, jet, or boat.

  • 1
    "Fluid dynamics" encompasses both fluid dynamics and aerodynamics, because both air (and other gases) and water (and other liquids) are fluids.
    – tautophile
    Jun 22, 2018 at 20:05
  • but would "fluid-dynamic" work?
    – Krupip
    Jun 22, 2018 at 20:06
  • Do you mean that the chassis travels efficiently through the air -or- water?
    – Mitch
    Jun 22, 2018 at 20:12
  • 1
    If you think of the meaning of streamlined, i.e, 'designed to fit into streams', then you can cover gaseous and liquid dynamics. There are streams of both kinds. Jun 22, 2018 at 20:16
  • 3
    My first search of streamlined says "presents very little resistance to a flow of air or water" so I don't know what the objection is. Did you want a big word? Keep it simple. Jun 22, 2018 at 20:40

3 Answers 3


I believe that, contrary to the OP's opinion, streamlined is, in fact, exactly the word they are looking for.

The primary meaning of streamlined is the physical properties at hand; the organizational, etc., properties are a secondary meaning derived from the first.




past tense: streamlined; past participle: streamlined


design or provide with a form that presents very little resistance to a flow of air or water, increasing speed and ease of movement.

"streamlined passenger trains"

synonyms:aerodynamic, smooth, sleek

"streamlined cars"


make (an organization or system) more efficient and effective by employing faster or simpler working methods.

"the company streamlined its operations by removing whole layers of management"

synonyms:efficient, smooth-running, well run, slick

Aerodynamic and hydrodynamic are adjectives that usually refer to physical properties of either a surface and its interaction with a fluid, either gas or liquid, or to an efficient flow around a surface.

For the first,

fluid dynamic

works as an adjective covering both aero- and hydro-.

For the second definition


is non-turbulent flow of fluids, both gas and liquid.

'Laminar' is for the efficient kind of flow. 'Fluid dynamic' does not invoke the efficient idea, just that you're dealing with the properties of the flow of gas or fluid.

  • I have doubts about laminar, it doesn't appear to ever be used when applied to something a like a vehicle. The examples don't say "laminar object", I have doubts I would be able to apply laminar to a description of a vehicle, with out raising some eyebrows.
    – Krupip
    Jun 22, 2018 at 20:13
  • @snb OK you need to specify that it is an adjective for the shape, not for the liquid. Fluid dynamic is definitely not it then. Laminar is about the fluid. But I'm leaning towards 'streamlined' because that is a property of the object with respect to the fluid dynamics.
    – Mitch
    Jun 22, 2018 at 20:15
  • I already specified I was talking about vehicles... streamlined again, doesn't work because it is too general, this I specifically outlined, unless you can come up with an argument for it.
    – Krupip
    Jun 22, 2018 at 20:17

Aerodynamic and Hydrodynamic are both terms which describe an objects drag coefficient in their respective fluids. Although commonly accepted, it is not really correct to call an object "aerodynamic" in order to say that is slips easily through the air. All things are aerodynamic, even different masses of air. That is like saying that I have luck. I haven't told you whether my luck is good or bad. With that recognized, it can also be said that although both domains are a form of fluid dynamics prone to fluidic design, It is not very common to talk about an object's "fluidic properties."

An object with either high Aerodynamic efficiency or high Hydrodynamic efficiency (or both) is considered "low drag" which is short for "low coefficient of drag." Engineers will sometimes annotate drag coefficient as Cd or Cd. Contrariwise an object can have a high Cd and be "high drag."

A common colloquialism for having a low drag coeffecient is slippery.

The term streamlined certainly applies to most vehicles with a low drag coeffecient but it can also express the visual, rather than physical, properties of a car, plane, boat, etc. An example would be several early muscle cars which were made to look aerodynamic but actually had poor coefficients of drag, even in their day.

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