Airy disk

noun

Definition of Airy disk

: the bright central spot in the system of diffraction rings formed by an optical system with light from a point source (as a star)

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of Airy disk

1923, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Airy disk

after George Biddell Airy †1892 English mathematician and astronomer

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Airy disk

Time Traveler for Airy disk

Time Traveler

The first known use of Airy disk was in 1923

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Airy disk

Cite this Entry

“Airy disk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Airy%20disk. Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

Comments on Airy disk

What made you want to look up Airy disk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!