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1. a statute in draft, before it becomes law
2. Law See bill of indictment


1. the mouthpart of a bird, consisting of projecting jaws covered with a horny sheath; beak. It varies in shape and size according to the type of food eaten and may also be used as a weapon
2. any beaklike mouthpart in other animals
3. a narrow promontory
4. Nautical the pointed tip of the fluke of an anchor
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also beak), an organ of birds formed by elongated, toothless mandibles covered with a hornlike sheath, or ramphotheca, which grows continuously. The ramphotheca of some birds is seasonally cast off (for example, birds of the family Tetraonidae). In the embryo of birds a sharp bony protuberance, the egg tooth, temporarily appears near the upper portion of the bill. The egg tooth assists in opening the shell during hatching. In many birds the base of the upper portion of the bill is covered with a waxy substance.

The size and shape of the bill varies in different birds. For some birds the bill assures the capture and, at times, dismemberment of prey; for other birds, the ability to peck and dig. The bill is used to carry out other complex functions, such as the cleaning of feathers and the building of nests. This diversity of functions is made possible by the mobility of the upper portion of the bill, which can be moved up and down or bent in the middle.

Bill-like formations are also found in several mammals (of the subclass Prototheria), reptiles (turtles), and cephalopodan mollusks.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(design engineering)
One blade of a pair of scissors.
(invertebrate zoology)
A flattened portion of the shell margin of the broad end of an oyster.
(naval architecture)
The point at the end of an anchor fluke.
(vertebrate zoology)
The jaws, together with the horny covering, of a bird.
Any jawlike mouthpart.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Step 5: Calculate the average variable direct cost for a billable test.
Some firms still use billable hours internally to help calculate a fixed monthly rate for a portion of clients.
Trogden also says EHRs aren't the ultimate solution to maximizing billable moments because intuition, critical thinking and workflow must come from the staff and then be applied to the technology tools.
The use of "billable tests" as data for benchmarking is often the most understandable method for administration.
(7) Pointing to the spiral of increases in associate salaries followed by increases in billable hours requirements, firm managers may engage in an exercise of blaming the "greedy associates." Another reaction involves blaming the "greedy partners" who seek to preserve or even increase partner revenues, while using higher salaries to recruit associates.
Average annual billable hours for staff were 1,622 as recently as 1999.
As a result of the implementation of McDATA's SANavigator, MSI has converted administrative cost labor hours to billable hours, enabled the company to keep pace with future customer acquisitions and has increased the addressable market of its customers through the implementation of a non-invasive management application.
Callahan is nostalgic for the days before nasty bottom line pressures led law firms to begin tracking billable hours, a time when "law firms had not yet learned the trick of working to death armies of young associates while reaping all the profits" Among lawyers themselves, hourly billing is a frequent whipping boy: It encourages associates to work hard (or pretend to), but not necessarily efficiently.
As an example, a "simple requirement" imposed on our OEM to change a drawing can incur cost--anywhere from 40 to 80 billable hours.
A recent example is a study by Robinson and Dow (2001) in which graphical feedback was provided to social workers in a mental health facility, and resulted in a 29% increase in billable hours.
Data like this, as well as detailed information on rent, human resource policies and average billable hours, offer firms the ability to benchmark their management practices and financials against those of similar firms from across the nation.
First, calculate your total billable hours per year.