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spectrum

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noun spec·trum \ˈspek-trəm\

Simple Definition of spectrum

  • : the group of colors that a ray of light can be separated into including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet : the colors that can be seen in a rainbow

  • : an entire range of light waves, radio waves, etc.

  • : a complete range of different opinions, people, etc.

Full Definition of spectrum

plural spec·tra play \-trə\ or spectrums

  1. 1a :  a continuum of color formed when a beam of white light is dispersed (as by passage through a prism) so that its component wavelengths are arranged in orderb :  any of various continua that resemble a color spectrum in consisting of an ordered arrangement by a particular characteristic (as frequency or energy): as (1) :  electromagnetic spectrum (2) :  radio spectrum (3) :  the range of frequencies of sound waves (4) :  mass spectrum c :  the representation (as a plot) of a spectrum

  2. 2a :  a continuous sequence or range <a wide spectrum of interests> <opposite ends of the political spectrum>b :  kinds of organisms associated with a particular situation (as an environment)c :  a range of effectiveness against pathogenic organisms <an antibiotic with a broad spectrum>

Examples of spectrum

  1. beautiful scarves in all the colors of the spectrum

  2. <the complete spectrum of opinions on this hotly debated subject>



Origin of spectrum

New Latin, from Latin, appearance — more at specter


First Known Use: 1671

Rhymes with spectrum



SPECTRUM Defined for Kids

spectrum

play
noun spec·trum \ˈspek-trəm\

Definition of spectrum

plural spec·tra \-trə\ or spec·trums

  1. :  the group of different colors including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet seen when light passes through a prism and falls on a surface or when sunlight is affected by drops of water (as in a rainbow)




Medical Dictionary

spectrum

play
noun spec·trum \ˈspek-trəm\

Medical Definition of spectrum

plural spec·tra \-trə\play or spectrums

  1. 1a:  a continuum of color formed when a beam of white light is dispersed (as by passage through a prism) so that its component wavelengths are arranged in orderb:  any of various continua that resemble a spectrum in consisting of an ordered arrangement by a particular characteristic (as frequency or energy): as:  electromagnetic spectrum:  mass spectrumc:  the representation (as a plot) of a spectrum

  2. 2:  a continuous sequence or range; specifically :  a range of effectiveness against pathogenic organisms <an antibiotic with a broad spectrum>





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