collimate

verb col·li·mate \ ˈkä-lə-ˌmāt \

Definition of collimate

collimated; collimating
: to make parallel
  • collimate light rays

collimation

play \ˌkä-lə-ˈmā-shən\ noun

collimate was our Word of the Day on 04/11/2014. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of collimate from the Web

  • But black holes produce their own radiation, especially high-energy X-rays and gamma-rays, which shoot out from the star in the form of tightly collimated...

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'collimate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

One might expect a science-y word like collimate to have a straightforward etymology, but that's not the case. Collimate comes from Latin collimare, a misreading of the Latin word collineare, meaning "to direct in a straight line." The erroneous collimare appeared in some editions of the works of ancient Roman statesman Cicero and scholar Aulus Gellius. The error was propagated by later writers-most notably by astronomers, such as Johannes Kepler, who wrote in Latin. And so it was the spelling collimate, rather than collineate, that passed into English in the 19th century.

Origin and Etymology of collimate

Latin collimatus, past participle of collimare, manuscript variant of collineare to make straight, from com- + linea line


Medical Dictionary

collimate

transitive verb col·li·mate \ ˈkäl-ə-ˌmāt \

medical Definition of collimate

collimated; collimating
: to make (as rays of light) parallel

collimation

play \ˌkäl-ə-ˈmā-shən\ noun

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